Peter Malinauskas MP

Susan Close MP
Deputy Premier
Minister for Defence
Minister for Industry, Innovation, and Science

The Malinauskas Labor Government will work collaboratively with Australian defence giant BAE Systems Australia to develop the state’s defence workforce and skills, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Osborne Naval Shipyard.

Through the MoU, BAE Systems Australia and the South Australian Government have committed to co-designing and supporting the implementation of workforce and skills projects that increase diversity of the STEM pipeline and address critical skills needs for both current and future defence projects.

BAE Systems Australia will leverage its international industry expertise from its related United Kingdom business, which designs and manufactures naval ships and submarines as well as state-of-the-art combat systems and equipment.

Working together, BAE Systems Australia and the SA Government will develop initiatives and projects to help grow, develop, and enhance South Australia’s defence industry workforce as the demand for skilled workers increases.

South Australia is spearheading the largest, most complex naval shipbuilding and defence projects in our nation’s history.

A highly-skilled workforce will be crucial to ensure continued successful project delivery, continuing the state’s leading role in addressing the nation’s growing security challenges and protecting Australia’s interests.

At the Osborne Naval Shipyard, BAE Systems Australia is building anti-submarine warfare Frigates for the Royal Australian Navy. In May, the workforce construction of the first Hunter designed block that will go on to be used in the first Hunter class frigate.

BAE Systems Australia also supports the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) and a range of other defence industry projects in South Australia, support for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at Edinburgh Parks, and on-board support for the Navy’s submarines.

Enrolments have recently opened for the first of the South Australia’s five technical colleges – Findon Technical College – where BAE Systems Australia has been announced as the college’s key employment partner to support the state’s skills needs in crucial industries such as naval ship and submarine building, among other advanced manufacturing pathways.

The Malinauskas Government has also committed $450,000 over three years to fast-track a software engineering degree apprenticeship pilot that will enable students to earn while they learn and prepare for defence careers in partnership with the University of South Australia, defence industry and the Australian Industry Group.

Quotes attributable to Peter Malinauskas

South Australia is spearheading the largest, most complex naval shipbuilding and defence projects in our nation’s history.

Preparing the industrial base to support defence capability must begin now. This requires strong partnerships with industry.

Generating the skilled workforce is the most critical aspect of the industrial base.

Through its expertise and experience gained through its UK business, BAE Systems Australia will be an invaluable partner as we undertake this important work.

Quotes attributable to Susan Close

This exciting partnership will allow the Malinauskas Government to accelerate the work required to build the necessary workforce and skills we need.

We have already established a joint South Australian Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Taskforce with the Australian Government to work with key stakeholders to develop and implement a skills and workforce plan for South Australia that will support the delivery of current and future defence projects.

This MoU will be mutually beneficial to the Government of South Australia and BAE Systems Australia as we undertake further cooperation with industry and other partners including education and training providers to continue to develop SA’s defence industry workforce and the skills required to support projects critical to national security.

Quotes attributable to BAE Systems Australia Craig Lockhart, Managing Director Maritime

The demand for highly-skilled employees across Australia cannot be overstated. Industry, academia, educators and Governments have to work together to look for different and novel ways to turn the dial.

At BAE Systems Australia we are looking to recruit over 600 roles into the Hunter program by the end of this year. Our highly-skilled workforce we have are critical to industrial innovation; they are at the very heart of productivity and, by association, the state economic prosperity.

The BAE Systems Submarine Skills Academy in the UK is a model that has proven highly successful in the acceleration and creation of significant numbers of job ready employees in support of sovereign national programs.

The MoU with the South Australian Government will open up new and innovative ways for us to work collaboratively and take an innovative approach to further build the skills we need here in South Australia.


Published On: June 28th, 2023