Navantia Australia strengthening South Australia’s skilled workforce in partnership with TAFE SA & WTIA

Adelaide, 8 November 2017

Navantia Australia today signed a memorandum of understanding with TAFE SA and the Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) to establish an Intelligent Welder Training Facility in Adelaide.

The Facility, equipped with the latest augmented reality simulators and welding systems, will be used to run accredited assessments, up-skill tradespeople and boost supply of ‘gate-ready’ welding graduates to the local defence shipbuilding industry. It will form the core of the Defence Welding Hub, being established by WTIA to provide training to the defence industry in Adelaide using the latest advances in welder training technology.

“Navantia Australia is looking forward to working with our new partners TAFE SA and WTIA. The success of Australia’s continuous naval shipbuilding program requires the engagement and development of a highly skilled and well-qualified workforce to maintain the highest international standards. In order to begin construction of the Future Frigates in 2020 we need to set the foundations now, particularly the skilled welders who are required at the very beginning of the shipbuilding process,” said Navantia Australia Managing Director Donato Martinez.

“To grow Australia’s sustainable, sovereign shipbuilding enterprise it’s vital to strengthen workforce training and development programs. That’s why Navantia Australia will continue to build strong partnerships with Australian education institutions and industry bodies.”

“The success of projects like Australia’s Future Frigates relies heavily the availability of a skilled workforce. We’re increasingly aware of the potential shortfall of internationally recognised welders required to deliver Australia’s ambitious $90 billion shipbuilding program,” said WTIA Chief Executive Officer Geoff Crittenden.

“This Facility will grow an internationally certified workforce and identify skills gaps to allow for the development of future training programs. WTIA is looking forward to working with TAFE SA and Navantia Australia to ensure all new defence equipment is built by Australian welders.”

“The Future Frigates program will provide unprecedented opportunities for South Australians to embark on lifelong careers in engineering, welding and fabrication,” said TAFE SA Chief Executive Robin Murt.

“Through this Facility, young people will be able to start developing their skills with a Certificate II in Engineering in high school, complete an apprenticeship and become welders certified to international standards (ISO9606).  They can continue to work as master ship welders or follow training pathways to exciting and varied careers in leadership, management or professional engineering.”