Australia announces new package to retain shipbuilding workforce

14 December 2017 (Last Updated December 14th, 2017 12:04)

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have confirmed a new workforce package that will help secure 200 additional jobs in support of shipbuilding programmes in South Australia.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have confirmed a new workforce package that will help secure 200 additional jobs in support of shipbuilding programmes in South Australia.

The package is set to be launched in order to retain the skilled naval shipbuilders currently involved in the construction of the air warfare destroyers (AWDs) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Pyne said: “Over the next ten years, the size and skill level of the naval shipbuilding workforce will need to increase significantly to meet the demands of the various shipbuilding programmes.

"Over the next ten years, the size and skill level of the naval shipbuilding workforce will need to increase significantly to meet the demands of the various shipbuilding programmes."

“To meet these challenges, we need to keep as many of the workers currently building the AWDs in the naval shipbuilding industry as possible.”

The Australian Government has agreed to adopt a targeted retention strategy in relation to the initiative.

The strategy is expected to see shipbuilders participating in the AWD programme transition to supporting the Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarine sustainment works as the current construction project gradually nears completion.

In addition, the workers will also undergo training and upskilling programmes to support the country’s future naval construction developments.

Pyne added: “This initiative is on top of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) decision made recently; creating up to 400 direct jobs and 600 indirect jobs, and the announcement that Australian Naval Infrastructure will create 600 additional jobs to redevelop the Osborne South shipyard.

“We are stabilising the shipbuilding workforce. With the Future Frigates decision to be made early next year and further workforce decisions made as required, things are truly on the up at Osborne.”

Cormann noted that the new workforce package will ensure the retention of critical skills to support major shipbuilding projects in South Australia as part of the Coalition Government’s $89bn naval shipbuilding programme.