South Australian defence jobs are at the forefront of a new Cooperation Agreement signed between the Marshall Liberal Government and the Morrison Federal Government’s Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC).

The agreement will push forward the state’s agenda to expand the highly skilled naval shipbuilding workforce to deliver on future naval shipbuilding projects.

More than 4000 workers will be needed over the next four years to meet the construction and sustainment requirements of the future Hunter class frigate, future Attack class submarine and Collins class submarine in South Australia, as well as thousands of additional jobs in supply chain and supporting industries.

Premier Steven Marshall said the agreement demonstrates his government’s fierce commitment to create thousands of defence jobs in South Australia.

“This collaboration with the NSC is a crucial step for our state’s shipbuilding future,” Premier Marshall said.

“It demonstrates a clear commitment to grow our local talent pool by establishing and developing new workforce pipelines in South Australia.

“South Australia will be home to over $90 billion in continuous naval shipbuilding projects, with a projected lifespan of more than 50 years, resulting in thousands of skilled and professional jobs.

“Meeting demands of this scale are only achievable through steadfast collaborative effort and dedicated programs, and that’s what our partnership with NSC represents,” he said.

The State Government’s Defence State sector plan released last November sets the path for the state’s defence industry priorities until 2030, with naval shipbuilding listed as the first of eight key growth areas.

The Cooperation Agreement with NSC will target workforce development strategies and business support strategies to boost the local shipbuilding and sustainment sectors.

It also complements the South Australian Government’s Defence Workforce Skills Strategy which seeks to engage youth through exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capabilities, developing skills through industry scholarships, and building local workforce through investment in apprenticeships and traineeships.

Defence SA Chief Executive Richard Price says that with the state’s pre-eminence in naval shipbuilding motivating the move of several multinational companies to South Australia, the maritime industry needs to work closely with the education and training sector, as well as with government, to create a sustainable and skilled workforce.

“Our vision is clear – by 2030, South Australia’s workforce will be in full swing building the most complex naval shipbuilding projects our country has ever seen,” said Mr Price.

“This workforce must be highly-skilled, agile and ready to work directly in key shipbuilding projects and across the supply chain.

“We also want people to understand that the skills needed for our state to deliver on these major Defence shipbuilding programs are highly diverse. We need people filling roles in everything from project management to combat systems engineering, contracts management to information technology, supply chain to work, health and safety, logistics to marketing and communications.”

With its South Australian operational hub based at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, the NSC partners with government, shipbuilding primes, Australian business and major training and education providers to establish industry workforce requirements and enhance local capacity, as well as increasing key entry-level trade qualifications to meet initial construction demand and boost apprenticeship opportunities.

To find out more about the Naval Shipbuilding College, visit

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Published On: February 8th, 2021