South Metropolitan TAFE (SMT) will be the major training provider in Western Australia for new defence contracts as part of the national Australian Naval Shipbuilding College announced today by the Federal Government, for trade and semi-professional training in WA for the naval shipbuilding industry.
Together with TAFE South Australia, SMT will lead the design and implementation of specific shipbuilding qualifications across Australia, ensuring a skilled workforce to successfully deliver the naval shipbuilding industry's requirements, and support the workforce needs of major defence contracts over coming decades. The TAFE will work with Naval Shipbuilding Institute, a joint venture between Huntington Ingalls Industries Australia (HIIA) and Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), to develop and maintain Australia's naval shipbuilding industry workforce. It is expected that this initiative will create hundreds of new WA jobs in the ship building industry.
"This is a well-deserved opportunity for SMT and recognition of the nation-leading defence industry training it already provides, using state-of-the-art technology and direct engagement with industry" said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. "There are plenty of opportunities for jobs with the defence and shipbuilding industries, and SMT is perfectly positioned to ensure Western Australians have the skills they need to take up those opportunities. When operations at the Naval Shipbuilding College start this year, the focus will be on key entry level trade qualifications such as fabrication and mechanical engineering, electrotechnology, electrical, fitting and turning, heating and ventilation and air-conditioning."
Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia said "Today's announcement will deliver unprecedented opportunities for shipbuilding skills development, including for Western Australians with a significant portion of the work based here. There will be demand for trained workers for shipbuilding at the Henderson Maritime Precinct, sustaining submarines at the Australian Submarine Complex in Henderson and construction of offshore patrol vessels, also in Henderson. SMT has a strong reputation in this area and will play a key role in skilling Western Australians in preparation for workforce demand in the defence industry."
SMT is the largest defence industry training organisation in Western Australia and one of the biggest in the country, incorporating innovation simulation and virtual reality into the training provided - including for the Australian Navy.
An office for the Australian Naval Shipbuilding College is expected to open in Henderson later this year. Edith Cowan University was also named as a partner in the Australian Naval Shipbuilding College.