Page 35 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
P. 35

ing workforce was a crucial element in the Government’s shipbuilding plan.
“More than 25,000 personnel will be needed directly or indirectly for the Gov- ernment’s $90 billion commitment to a continuous shipbuilding program. The naval shipbuilding workforce in Australia is likely to grow to around 5,200 workers by the mid 2020s, across a range of diverse job roles,” he said.
“For our naval shipbuilding industry to be successful the College needs to have a national reach, which is why it has estab- lished – or will soon establish – relation- ships with training or education providers in every state and territory.”
As noted earlier the Naval Shipbuilding College is a 50/50 joint venture between HII, a major US naval shipbuilder with almost 200 years of experience in the field and one of the largest employers in the na- val shipbuilding sector globally, and KBR, which has a wealth of experience the areas of project management and training, in support of the ADF.
Established in Adelaide, the staff cur- rently working within the College in- cludes three experienced shipbuilding people from HII in the US and around a dozen Australian personnel from KBR, together with a team from the shipbuild- ing, education, training, academic and business sectors throughout the country.
According to Assistant Minister for Vocational Training and Skills Karen Andrews at the announcement, the col- lege will use the ‘hub and spoke’ model to work with a range of education and train- ing providers.
“A person could be enrolled at the Na- val Shipbuilding College headquartered in Adelaide, but be completing a course at a registered training organisation or higher education provider in Perth, Syd- ney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Ho- bart, or regional centres such as Launces- ton,” she said.
College director Bill Docalovich is one of the three people seconded from HII in the US who says that while he sees chal-
lenges ahead, particularly in terms of meeting the Govern- ment’s tight timetable, he is confident that the building of a viable and sustainable naval shipbuilding workforce can be achieved.
“The US folk that have been
engaged in our work so far are
all struck by the strong founda-
tions that exist in Australian
academic and vocational train-
ing systems and Australia should be proud of the level of investment that various gov- ernments make in workforce preparation,” he said.
“Quite frankly I think that the breadth of capability that exists in Australia can de- liver, given sufficient focus.”
Why is the College needed?
Bill Docalovich says the various studies into the shipbuilding requirements com- missioned by the Commonwealth and undertaken by the RAND Corporation and others identified the need to rapidly
build a supporting workforce structure for both the construction and sustain- ment phases of the major programs.
“The boom and bust nature of Australian naval shipbuilding has never really created a permanent institution or entity, or societal structures, to support the unique skills re- quired,” he explained to ADM. “They are established in the boom periods, but then the training and educational institutions and universities focus on other things when the shipbuilding demand isn’t there.
“The 30 year continuous naval ship- building plan will require those societal | August 2018 | 35
“Quite frankly I think that
the breadth of capability that exists in Australia can deliver, given sufficient focus.”

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