06/08/2021

Naval Group Australia has developed a new program which aims to boost female participation in the Attack Class submarine project by offering work-ready skills training to help more women take up a career in welding.

In partnership with the Government of South Australia’s Skilling South Australia initiative and Adelaide Training and Employment Centre, Naval Group Australia is encouraging women to join a new course offering entry-level training in skills needed to start a career as a submarine welder.

The 10-day program will be free for 10 successful applicants and provide them with 60 hours of accredited training. It will familiarise them with the equipment and tasks of professional welding through hands-on experience with power tools, the performance of metal arc welding and introductions to employers in Naval Group Australia’s host business network.

The pre-work skills training will be provided in September 2021. Participants who then choose to pursue a welding career can be considered for a new intake of Naval Group Australia apprentices later this year and have a pathway to a decades-long career working on the Attack Class.

Naval Group Australia Chief Executive Officer John Davis said the company was committed to building a diverse workforce as it continued growing in preparation for submarine construction.

“The Attack Class program will require hundreds of new workers in the next few years as we get ready to start cutting steel at the new and modern shipyard being built at Osborne,” he said.

“We want to maximise the talent in our Attack Class team. A key part of that plan is supporting more women to identify and achieve their potential in secure trade pathways like welding.

“It’s important for Naval Group Australia, and our staff, that there’s a diversity in our growing team which accurately reflects the local community we are embedded in and working for.

“But we also need to inspire people from non-traditional backgrounds to take up trades like welding so that we achieve the number of skilled workers needed for submarine construction.”

ATEC Chief Executive Lynne Austin said participants in the women in welding program didn’t need any prior experience in the trade and could gain a taste of what the profession offered.

“Our experienced trainers will work with successful women in welding applicants to give them the advice and support that they need to achieve skills to commence a new career,” Ms Austin said.

“The demand for people with welding skills in South Australia is going to be significant over the coming years and decades as the Future Submarine Program continues to expand.”

Naval Group Australia currently employs 21 trades apprentices, who receive on-the-job training with South Australian host businesses. Those placements allow apprentices to gain experience in skills, including welding and boilermaking, and prepare for future work on Attack Class submarines.

Naval Group Executive Vice President Future Submarine Program Lilian Brayle thanked the Government of South Australia for its support and backing the development of a skilled workforce.

“The Attack Class project will deliver decades of benefits for Australian workers, as we continue to create local jobs, both at Naval Group and in new sovereign supply chains,” Mr Brayle said.

“This is a national endeavour, and we want all Australians to be able to play a role in the effort. “In collaboration with our teams in France, the Attack Class is delivering the advanced submarine capability that Australia requires and secure jobs and career pathways that can last a lifetime.”

To apply for the women in welding pre-work training program, phone ATEC on 1300 112 832.

Sourced from Naval Group’s website: New careers in welding under skills plan to expand Attack Class submarine workforce