New consortium to build a defence-ready workforce

Defence staff checking data SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The new Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium will work closely with multinational, national and local defence companies to ensure Australian jobs are at the forefront in defence projects worth $195 billion over the next 20 years, including the Australian Government’s $89 billion investment in naval ships and submarines.

UniSA is part of a new alliance that is collaborating to deliver a defence-ready, and especially maritime-ready, workforce with skills in engineering, information and computer technology, and project management.

Welcoming an announcement by the Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne of the establishment of a Maritime Technical College in South Australia, the education institutions and main defence industry organisation in South Australia have formed the Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium.

The Consortium will consider bidding for the College, in partnership with organisations across Australia.

The Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium is an initiative of the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, the University of South Australia, TAFE SA and the Defence Teaming Centre, working closely with defence industry companies large and small.

The new Consortium will work closely with multinational, national and local defence companies to ensure Australian jobs are at the forefront in defence projects worth $195 billion over the next 20 years, including the Australian Government’s $89 billion investment in naval ships and submarines.

Defence Teaming Centre chief executive officer Margot Forster says the decision to establish a continuous build program for surface ships and submarines in South Australia provides a unique opportunity for industry, government, education and training providers to work together to focus on provision of a trained, upskilled and reskilled workforce.

“The Consortium’s aims are threefold: to inspire young people to choose the maritime defence sector as a viable career path; to ensure that education is closely tied to the skills needs of defence industry; and to support existing workers to retrain and upskill so they can take advantage of emerging defence-related opportunities,” Forster says.

“This approach will ensure education and skills are driving South Australia’s and the nation’s economic prosperity.”

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the initiative positions South Australia strongly to play its part in securing the Nation’s future in this fast-growing industry.

“It demonstrates that higher education providers are eager and able to collaborate not only between themselves, but also with the vocational sector and, most importantly, with industry to meet critical skills challenges such as those posed by the Commonwealth’s ambitious naval and other defence projects,” Prof Lloyd says.

Based in South Australia, the Consortium founding members have formed national and international affiliations with education and skills institutions offering relevant world-leading expertise, including University College London, the University of Tasmania, North Carolina State University and the GEMA group of universities that works closely with naval shipbuilder DCNS in France.

Read more on the UniSA Media Centre.

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