Shipbuilding company Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) has notified the Australian Government of a significant cut down of its workforce.
ASC noted that the reduction in personnel is due to the nearing completion of work on the Air Warfare Destroyers (AWDs).
In addition, the lessening workload is said to be a direct consequence of the Australian Labor Party’s failure to commission a single Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship from a domestic yard, which affected both shipbuilding jobs across the country and the RAN’s capabilities.
Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said: “While continuous naval shipbuilding will create thousands of jobs for decades to come, there will be a period of transition as our current shipbuilding workforce re-deploys to new opportunities being created across our defence industrial base.”
The Australian Government has announced plans to implement methods of sustaining as many ASC employees as possible.
It has adopted a targeted retention strategy to generate up to 200 new positions within ASC submarines for workers currently employed within the AWD programme.
The strategy will see up to 100 shipbuilders deployed to support the Future Submarine Program Office and fill vacant positions in the Collins-class sustainment workforce.
Personnel will be provided with scholarships in order to train them in additional roles in the fields of operations management, computer-aided design, and engineering and supply chain operations.
The Defence Ministry has also been advised by the Australian Naval Infrastructure that an additional 600 direct job opportunities could be generated via the Osborne South shipyard redevelopment.
Furthermore, ASC’s new Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) construction project is slated to create up to 400 direct and 600 indirect employment opportunities.
Construction work on the vessels is slated to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
The government’s current plan to invest $90bn to support continuous shipbuilding programmes is expected to create new jobs in the coming decades.
Additionally, the shipbuilding programme is expected to support more than 25,000 additional jobs, both directly and indirectly.