Thirty-five students studying at two universities across the country have been awarded the National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship, which aims to strengthen the pool of future engineering talent available for the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.
At an online event today, coinciding with World Maritime Day, 20 students from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and 15 students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) will be officially welcomed into the scholarship program by the Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) and the Department of Defence.
The NSC’s Chief Executive, Ian Irving said: “The NSC in conjunction with industry is leading the establishment and ongoing development of a highly skilled Australian shipbuilding workforce so industry has a highly effective workforce with the required skills, in the right locations, when they need them.
“The engineering degrees the students are undertaking, supported by the Defence funded pipeline scholarship, prepare them for critical roles within the shipbuilding enterprise, and will provide opportunities to secure meaningful careers within the sector,” he said.
Recipients are studying in critical engineering disciplines required in the shipbuilding enterprise, including computer and software systems, mechatronics, mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.
The scholarship covers the costs of the student’s 3rd and 4th years of study, assists with the purchase of educational materials, and connects students with 12-week paid placements across the enterprise.
“The 12-week paid work placement, included as part of the scholarship, provides an invaluable opportunity for the students to gain relevant professional experience and to put their studies to practical use – allowing them to hit the ground running post-graduation,” said Ian.
The scholarship also aims to support and encourage more women to enter the engineering field and provides a meaningful step toward strengthening gender equity in the Defence Industry. Women currently represent only 16 per cent of Australia’s STEM skilled workforce.
Mechatronics Engineering student from QUT, Maria Vargas Duque, said: “The opportunity of gaining work experience in the shipbuilding enterprise – which is such a massive endeavour that means so much for the whole of Australia – is a once in lifetime opportunity. It’s a unique experience I wouldn’t get anywhere else.”
Applications for the 2021 National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship are now open for second-year students via the QUT website and RMIT website.
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