Page 36 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
P. 36

“Quite frankly I think that the breadth of capability that exists in Australia can deliver, given sufficient focus.”
institutions to be built rather quickly to support the pretty big ramp up anticipated in the 2020s.”
Since contract signature on March 1, the Naval Shipbuilding College has been fur- ther developing processes to systematically collect workforce data through relation- ships and agreements with the prime ship- builders, including Naval Group, Lürssen and Future Frigate preferred tenderer BAE Systems. This work includes gathering data from the primes around their future work- force processes and what their workforce development requirements will be to sup- port each of the programs.
Other work undertaken so far has been the engagement with training organisa- tions such as universities and TAFEs to explain the College’s role and to un- derstand the gaps that exist between current training courses or educational approaches and what the shipyards will need in the future.
“The continuous shipbuilding plan is not just about new pro- grams, it’s the creation of sovereign capabil-
ity and to have as much Australian content in these ships as possible, making sure that Australia decreases its dependence on bring- ing in foreign expertise across the skilling and education areas,” Docalovich added.
The College will be an industry par- ticipant in the Naval Shipbuilding In- dustry Reference Committee currently being formed to examine competencies and skill-sets and national training pack- age qualifications, as well as career struc- turing and educational pathways needed to support the skilling of the shipbuild- ing workforce.
A further initiative has been the cre- ation of a national workforce register, which was formally launched in late June to link interested parties, including exist- ing shipbuilding personnel and secondary and tertiary students, with current and future opportunities.
Perhaps equally importantly, one of the less visible roles of the Naval Shipbuilding College is to change community percep- tion of shipbuilding, which is often regard-
ed as a career of last choice, to one of first choice, with the acknowledgement that if done properly, it will support generations of Australian workers.
“Shipbuilding has a future as an in- dustry, but it also provides a future for an individual who may have the desire to move along a career path, from actual production to design and planning and project management. Those are all very active career paths that we’ve seen and helped develop in our US shipyards (and) communicating those opportunities in Australia will be an important step in the next few years,” Docalovich said. “In the longer term, the production method- ologies and workforce development will allow these products to be exported. A capability, once established, will be very important and potentially very profit- able. The number of nations building naval ships is not increasing. Some coun- tries are able to succeed in the commer- cial shipbuilding sector but naval ships are more complex and the industry is a little more challenging.
“We have time for bright young people to step up and help shape naval ship- building in Australia in the 2030s and beyond.”
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