Australia gets new ‘virtual’ naval shipbuilding college

Australia will establish a new Naval Shipbuilding College to address skills shortages and a growing shipbuilding industry in Australia.

FILE PHOTO: Final fit out of the future HMAS Canberra at the BAE Systems Williamstown Dockyard. Photo by I @B.

The new college will be established and managed by the Naval Shipbuilding Institute – a joint venture between Kellogg Brown & Root and Huntington Ingalls Industries – to work with shipbuilders to understand their workforce requirements throughout the different stages of project construction and sustainment, while leveraging a national network of education and training providers to deliver the specific skills required.

Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews, announced the initiative on Tuesday this week.

Minister Pyne said the Naval Shipbuilding Institute (NSI) team represented more than 200 years of commercial experience in naval shipbuilding education and skilling.

“The NSI team [of Kellogg Brown & Root and Huntington Ingalls Industries] has a proven track record of developing shipbuilders and will bring to Australia their collective experience in naval shipbuilding skilling and education,” Minister Pyne said.

“The Naval Shipbuilding College will collaborate with key education and industry providers to ensure Australia can increase the size and skill level of the naval shipbuilding and sustainment workforce we need.

Minister Birmingham said the Naval Shipbuilding College would be industry-driven to ensure a future workforce can meet the needs of the naval shipbuilding industry for decades to come.

“The College will work with a range of high-quality education and training providers to build their capacity and ensure our future workforce can meet the specialised requirements of the naval shipbuilding industry,” Mr Birmingham said.

“In order to deliver the right skills at the right time the college will need to build strong partnerships, particularly with education and training providers, but also with selected ship designers and builders, and the wider defence-industry community.”

Mr Andrews said the Naval Shipbuilding College would provide opportunities for education providers across Australia to collaborate in educating and training high-quality candidates for future employment.

“The college will work with a range of high-quality education and training providers across Australia through a ‘hub-and-spoke’ model,” he said.

“A person could be enrolled at the Naval Shipbuilding College headquartered in Adelaide, but be completing the course at a registered training organisation or higher-education provider in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, or regional centres such as Launceston.”

The Naval Shipbuilding College will be headquartered in South Australia, creating 20 jobs in Adelaide,   with an initial focus on increasing the number of people with key entry-level trade qualifications.

Minister Pyne said that for our naval shipbuilding industry to be successful the college needs to have a national reach, which is why the Naval Shipbuilding College has established or will establish relationships with training or education providers in every state and territory.


Australian partners who have already come on board are:

  • The Defence Teaming Centre
  • University of Adelaide
  • Flinders
  • RMIT
  • Edith Cowan
  • South Metro TAFE (WA)
  • Indigenous Defence Consortium
  • Australian Maritime College (Launceston)


By the mid-2020s the government estimate that the:

  • outfitting workforce – people like electricians, joiners and carpenters – will need to grow by more than 1400 people;
  • structural workforce – boilermakers, structural workers and steelworkers – will need to grow by more than 1000 people; and,
  • management staff will grow by more than 300.









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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