There are thousands of Australian men and women working across the country who aren’t in the Defence Force, but work to support and strengthen it. Our students and apprentices are also developing trade knowledge and technical skills that will be needed in the future.

A highly skilled workforce is essential to deliver the Government’s $200 billion investment in Australia’s defence capability. Australian workers will be needed to design, install, build, integrate and maintain our ships, submarines, aircraft, land vehicles, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and information technology and cyber security, and provide services to support the men and women in the Australian Defence Force.

The Australian Government is laying the foundations for an Australia-wide naval shipbuilding enterprise, ending the boom-bust cycle that has afflicted the Australian naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry. By the mid to late 2020s, the naval shipbuilding workforce is expected to grow to an estimated 5,200 workers, with more than double this number employed in supply chains and sustainment activities.

A skilled workforce is critical to the success of the naval shipbuilding enterprise responsible for delivery and sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy's future frigates, future submarines and offshore patrol vessels.


On Tuesday 3 April 2018, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence Industry, and Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, announced the establishment of the Naval Shipbuilding College.

The Naval Shipbuilding College will work with key stakeholders to ensure a suitably skilled and qualified Australian workforce is available at the right time to meet industry’s needs in delivering Australia’s continuous sovereign naval shipbuilding program

Demand for a range of technical trade and management skills in the naval shipbuilding industry will increase progressively in support of new offshore patrol vessel, frigate and submarine construction.

Our defence industry will provide increasing and rewarding long-term career opportunities as a number of major Defence projects ramp up over the next decade. New opportunities will exist in the large multi-national companies that win Defence contracts as well as Australian businesses across different regions of the country that are part of the supply chain. Defence bases and facilities will need to be upgraded and serviced.

Read the case studies below to discover more about the wide variety of jobs and skills that contribute to The Workforce Behind The Defence Force.

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