Developing a sovereign naval shipbuilding workforce

ICN has partnered with the Naval Shipbuilding College to ensure Australian business can fully benefit from the Federal Government’s $90 billion commitment to a continuous naval shipbuilding industry.

Bill Docalovich, Program Director at the Naval Shipbuilding College (the College) said more than 15,000 jobs will be created as part of the continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program.

“Many of these jobs will come from the growth of small to medium enterprises across Australia,” he said.

“A diversity of career pathways will be available across the build, supply chain and sustainment process providing meaningful employment opportunities for decades.

“The naval shipbuilding industry has career options to suit everyone. There are opportunities for people of all ages and from every walk of life.”

The College is working with several stakeholder groups to deliver a sovereign naval shipbuilding workforce including:

  • Primes, tier one contractors, small businesses and industry organisations to determine the future employment needs of the industry
  • education and training organisations to assist in adapting courses to include industry specific skills and experience

ICN, through SA consultant Jeremy Satchell, is collaborating with the College to develop a jobs platform and referral process, as well as a national roadshow to engage with SMEs

“The Naval Shipbuilding College’s Workforce Register is a call to action for people from all walks of life - students, graduates, people with 20 years of working experience,” Jeremy said.

“If people are interested in naval shipbuilding they can join the register and the Naval Shipbuilding College will work with them to form a tailored training and development plan.

“Due to the longevity of the program there will be significant opportunities for people to progress their careers.”

Through the Workforce Register, the College provides candidates with advice on upskilling opportunities through established education and training pathways including TAFE and university.

“Small to medium enterprises are the main driver of Australia’s economy and these businesses will be able to access eligible, highly-skilled individuals through the College to build their workforce and capacity,” Mr Docalovich said.

ICN is also rolling out industry roadshow events across the country to help the SMEs understand what they need to be successful in the naval shipbuilding ecosystem.

“The national roadshow will also include business networking events where potential employees and suppliers can meet with employers and major contractors, find out what opportunities are available and work out how they might fit in,” Mr Satchell said.

 “A very import part of building a sovereign industry in Australia is to support SMEs to expand their scope and scale, while building and strengthening their workforce.

“What we will find is that some of the graduates of the College endorsed courses may work with the primes, but there will also be rewarding opportunities within the supplier network.”

The College is currently going through the process of adapting and endorsing relevant courses with training and education partners to align with naval shipbuilding industry requirements.

“The College is collaborating with shipbuilders and supply chain industries to ensure the programs of our training and education partners align with the future needs of the naval shipbuilding industry,” Mr Docalovich said.

“In partnership with our education and training partners, the College can supply technical assistance packages to help with adaption of programs.

“This is ensuring employers in the naval shipbuilding industry can be confident the skilled workforce they will need will have the capabilities required.

“The College actively contributes to the enhancement of the Australian VET system to help equip Australians with the skills they need for success in a changing labour market.’’

The College is also working with high schools and adjacent industries to raise awareness of the education and skilling pathways which can lead to jobs and rewarding careers within the naval shipbuilding industry.

Mr Satchell said ICN is using its national network and contacts and working in collaboration with the College to highlight the opportunities.

“While the build is focused on SA and WA, there is a significant ecosystem in supply chain partners across the country that will be able to work with the College to source a highly skilled workforce,” he said.

“The key to success is everyone working together to build a sovereign naval shipbuilding workforce which will take us though much of the 21st Century.

“ICN provides an excellent opportunity and resource for small to medium businesses to identify potential business and employment opportunities associated with the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.

“The College is working closely with industry to ensure the right workers are available at the right time.”

For more information visit

and Naval Shipbuilding College on ICN Gateway.