Naval Shipbuilding Workforce Development

In its 2017 Naval Shipbuilding Plan, the Australian Government made clear that a skilled workforce is critical to the success of the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise. The Enterprise will support economic growth and create thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Australians for generations to come.

To achieve the workforce development required to support the Enterprise, the size and skills of the naval shipbuilding and sustainment workforce will need to increase significantly.

The Government is investing in developing the skills and knowledge base of the naval shipbuilding industry, to build the sustainable workforce required and prepare for the subsequent workforce growth.

The Naval Shipbuilding College was established in 2018 to ensure a suitably skilled and qualified Australian workforce is available at the right time to meet industry's needs in delivering Australia's continuous naval shipbuilding program. Further details can be found on the Naval Shipbuilding College site.

In February 2019, the Government launched the Defence Industry Skilling and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Strategy. The Strategy details how the Government will help Australian defence industry meet their workforce skills requirements over the coming decade. It is a key part of the Government’s long-term vision to build and develop a robust, resilient, and internationally competitive Australian defence industrial base that meets defence capability requirements. In turn, the Strategy will inform the efforts of the Naval Shipbuilding College in attracting and retaining the STEM-capable workers needed for the future shipbuilding workforce.

There are a variety of other Defence Industry initiatives to help support workforce development, including skilling support grants administered through the Center for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), the School Pathways Programmes, the Defence Industry Internship Program (DIIP), the Defence Engineering Internship Program, and the National Defence Industry Skills Office (NDISO). To view current job opportunities within the Defence Industry, visit the Defence Industry Career opportunities page.

The Government is also working to build and develop its own workforce to facilitate the delivery of the National Naval Shipbuilding Program through a number of areas, including Engineering, Naval Architecture and Program Management. Opportunities to contribute to the National Naval Shipbuilding Program as part of the Australian Public Service can be viewed here:

If you would like to discuss future strategic workforce planning, please contact the National Naval Shipbuilding Office’s Enterprise Workforce team.

Defence Industry Pathways Program

The Defence Industry Pathways Program provides hands-on training within the Henderson Shipbuilding precinct in Western Australia. The 12-month, paid traineeships are designed as a "taster" course to set participants on a path to a defence industry career.

The Program is an initiative of the Australian Government supported by Western Australia’s South Metropolitan TAFE and the state’s maritime defence industry. Trainees will gain practical industry experience with world-leading employers, who will offer supervision, mentoring and on-the-job training.

The $10 million program is designed to build a pipeline of defence industry-ready talent to be part of Australia's growing ship building industry. It is open to WA school leavers who have completed Year 12.

For more information on the application process, visit Programmed Training Services.