Welders will play a critical role in the workforce required for the Australian Government’s $90 billion continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program, resulting in the creation of hundreds of new jobs and careers across the country.
With Australia facing a shortage of qualified and certified welders, the Naval Shipbuilding College and Weld Australia have announced an agreement to work together in developing a national shipbuilding welding education and training competency framework.
Technological advancements are resulting in rapid changes to traditional training methods for apprentices and qualified welders.
Chief Executive of the Naval Shipbuilding Institute Ian Irving said the Memorandum of Understanding would be used to help create a commonality in training, skilling and certification across Australia in relation to naval shipbuilding.
“Augmented reality training, simulation and virtual reality are some examples of the new technologies today’s vocational students are using to obtain their required skills,’’ he said.
“Our common goal is advancing the progress of the welding skills required by the Naval Shipbuilding Program.
“The agreement will allow us to share information across all parties and work together to develop an evolving and consistent national education and training competency framework.’’
Chief Executive Officer of Weld Australia Geoff Crittenden said Australia is facing a significant shortage of qualified and certified welders.
“Our collaboration with the Naval Shipbuilding College, formalised in the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding, will support the Australian defence industry,’’ he said.
“It will help ensure that the defence prime contractors have access to the skilled, qualified welding professionals required to successfully deliver the Naval Shipbuilding Program.”
“Weld Australia is proud to be facilitating the growth of a world-class welding industry in Australia. We are committed to securing the future of Australia’s welding industry.”
Weld Australia’s National Manager for Strategic Partnerships Brian Rungie said extensive consultation with key stakeholders would take place to identify the welding skills, capabilities, certifications and qualifications required to successfully deliver the Naval Shipbuilding Program.
“Based on our findings, we plan to develop and deliver education and training models that support both the needs of the defence industry and those of Australian welders,’’ he said.
“We will continue to encourage and support Australian fabricating firms looking to enter the naval shipbuilding supply chain, with assistance to become certified to AS/NZS ISO 3834 Quality requirements for fusion welding of metallic materials.
“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is an important milestone for Weld Australia and the broader defence and welding industries. We look forward to collaborating with the College in the future.”