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, technical, science and technology skills that will be needed in the future.

A highly skilled workforce is essential to deliver the Government’s $270 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 a  National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise (Enterprise), ending the boom-bust cycle that has afflicted the Australian naval shipbuilding and sustainment industry. The 2020 Naval Shipbuilding and Sustainment Plan anticipates that the (Enterprise) will require a workforce of around 15,000 people across new vessel acquisition, sustainment and the supply chain.

The Government has established the Naval Shipbuilding College (College) to help connect industry, training and education providers and potential shipbuilding workers through a coordinated, national approach to skilling for the Enterprise. The College is supporting industry to ensure that appropriately skilled workers are available when required to meet the ramp-up in naval construction.

The College works 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 the naval shipbuilding enterprise. The College operates a hub-and-spoke model that enables students to undertake courses through College endorsed registered training organisations or higher education providers across Australia.

In conjunction with Defence, the College is managing a pilot scholarship program to deliver scholarship based work placements for current and future engineering students. This will support up to 80 engineering undergraduate students to complete qualifications and develop job-ready skills for opportunities in naval shipbuilding, while undertaking study at Queensland University of Technology and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Demand for a range of technical trade and management skills in the naval shipbuilding industry will increase progressively in support of new naval capability including the Arafura Class offshore patrol vessel, Hunter Class frigate and Attack Class 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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