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

A skilled workforce will be crucial to continuing our state’s leading role in Defence project delivery. To achieve this, work has begun to ensure South Australian workers and industry are in the best possible position to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.

Building the workforce of the future

More than 14,000 workers are employed in South Australia’s defence sector, and it is anticipated more than 10,000 jobs will be added to the defence industry pipeline plus thousands more in adjacent industries over the next two decades.

South Australia will be the home of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine construction, helping to deliver the single greatest upgrade for our Defence capability starting in 2023 as part of the security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS). At its peak, up to 4,000 workers will be employed to design and build the infrastructure for the Submarine Construction Yard in Osborne, South Australia. A further 4,000 to 5,500 direct shipyard jobs are expected to be created to build nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia when the program reaches its peak.

While the Nuclear-Powered Submarine program will require thousands of jobs for engineers, scientists, operators, technicians, submariners, project managers, administrators and tradespeople, there are also a wealth of opportunities across other sectors including naval shipbuilding, aerospace, information warfare, cyber and systems.

AUKUS will enhance Australia’s defence capabilities, creating exciting job opportunities both in the short- and long-term for people looking to commence, move or continue their career journey in Australia’s ‘Defence State’.

Work has begun for the South Australian Government to ensure the state is in the best possible position to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.

Initiatives include:

Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Taskforce

The South Australian Government in partnership with the Australian Government is aligning state and commonwealth strategies to build a highly skilled Defence industry workforce of the future.

The Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Taskforce will develop a skills and workforce plan to identify measures to support the delivery of current and future defence industry projects and coordinate investment in education and training to meet the growing demand in skills and experience.

Taskforce stakeholders will come together to coordinate efforts to:

  • grow the pipeline of STEM qualified graduates
  • ensure the investment in education and training for the defence industry is targeted to address priority needs, including new models of training
  • transition skilled workers from other sectors into the Defence industry
  • increase the participation of women and Indigenous Australians in STEM careers and the defence industry
  • ensure school leavers are aware of defence industry job opportunities and get the skills they need.