Naval opportunity shines bright

Flinders University welcomes the announcement by Minister Christopher Pyne of the new Naval Shipbuilding Institute (NSI) to establish and manage the Naval Shipbuilding College at Osborne.

US companies will lead the college, principally military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls and engineering services firm Kellogg Brown & Root. The NSI will draw on expertise from the Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium, which consists of a number of organisations including Flinders University, to understand and address workforce and skills requirements.

Flinders is ready to hit the ground running and looks forward to applying its research and education strengths to the challenges that await in delivering the $90 billion ship building program. These include workforce growth of around 5,200 employees by the mid-2020s, with around 60% of these from diverse trades and the remaining 40% made up of engineering, mathematics and other professions.

The new state of the art Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub (TMI Hub) at Flinders at Tonsley is expected to provide an innovative edge in the development of Australia’s naval ship building capabilities.

Minister Pyne said the college will match students with institutions that can provide the courses employers will need to deliver 54 vessels over several decades. “Employers are going to be critical to saying what the skills are that are needed. The Naval Shipbuilding College will be critical to matching the potential employees with those skillsets, with the employers, to then create the industry.”

For South Australia to expand its presence in defence it must grow its skilled workforce and training expertise in defence-related advanced manufacturing. As a key strategic partner in this significant nation-building enterprise, Flinders is ideally placed to contribute to the Australian Government’s vision of a well education highly skilled workforce engaged in the largest shipbuilding project in Australia’s history.

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