Page 44 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
P. 44

According to a submission from the Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) to a Prime and Minister and Cabinet Department review into the vocational education and training (VET) sector, the issues facing the VET side of the STEM pipeline have some big issues to address.
Getting the STEM pipeline
right for shipbuilding
THE Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) was established by the Australian Govern- ment to ensure an ongoing, sovereign work- force for the Australian shipbuilding in- dustry and as such, it is required to identify the training and education requirements for this industry. The NSC was established in the wake of the $90 billion naval ship- building program and is managed by the Naval Shipbuilding Institute (NSI), a joint venture between Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) and Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Under a $62 million funding model, the NSI works with shipbuilders and supply chain industries to understand their work- force requirements throughout the differ- ent stages of construction and sustainment; then works with established training and education providers to modify programs of study, including vocational education
and training qualifications, to ensure these programs align with the current and future needs of the naval shipbuilding industry.
The programs that have been modified to align with these needs and meet the ongo- ing standards required by the naval ship- building industry then undergo an endorse- ment process.
The NSC regularly receives feedback re- garding the need to promote VET quali- fication pathways as being as important as higher education qualifications. This is also consistent with a number of govern- ment statements across jurisdictions. To meet current and future industry require- ments, Australia needs to ensure the VET
and higher education sectors are both high functioning and complementary, with learners completing both VET and higher education qualifications throughout their careers to support progression.
The importance of VET
The perception that VET is for learners who are less engaged in schooling must be addressed; technical trade skills are just as valuable (and needed) as university-based qualifications. Advanced manufacturing and trade occupations require high level
ABOVE: Apprenticeships have their place alongside university trained workers.
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