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American naval shipbuilding experts strengthen Australia’s sovereign industry

Naval shipbuilding specialists from the United States of America are sharing their knowledge and skills to boost Australia’s training and education pathways.
14 March 2019
Skilling Services Manager Mark Scott (far right) with visiting American naval shipbuilding Master Trainers from Huntington Ingalls.

WATCH VIDEO: Engineering specialist Rick Burgos discusses how the Naval Shipbuilding College is helping thousands of Australians to pursue exciting skilled and professional careers.



Starting your first day of work on a public holiday – Australia Day no less – may seem a little surprising to some people.


However, for the seven USA-based Subject Matter Experts flown to South Australia by the Naval Shipbuilding College it was a matter of wanting to hit the ground running. Engineer and Training Manager with Huntington Ingalls Industries, Rick Burgos said it was a quick drive to work on his first day.


“There weren’t too many people on the roads,’’ he said.


“We were all keen to get straight to work and over our four week-placement we’ve achieved a lot, it’s been very successful.


“Our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience across welding, light fabrication structural and pipe fitting, engineering and computer aided design.’’


The transfer of knowledge has occurred through ongoing engagement with training and education providers, mostly recently TAFE SA, TAFE NSW, University of South Australia and Flinders University.


The group has also consulted with industry including ASC, Naval Group Australia, Thales, Babcock and associated supply chain partners.


Tasked with analysing existing programs offered across the vocational and education training sector as well as tertiary institutions the Subject Matter Experts are ensuring the future needs of the naval shipbuilding industry are met.


They’ve provided recommendations on how existing programs could be enhanced, including the introduction of education and training tools.


This will ultimately lead to the production of job-ready graduates who are armed with the skills they need to forge a successful career in the naval shipbuilding enterprise.


Mr Burgos said the standard of courses offered through Australia’s training and education sector is exceptional and providers continue to be supportive.


“Everyone has been open to advice on how they can adapt their current programs to meet the specialist needs of the naval shipbuilding enterprise,’’ Mr Burgos said.


“There is a growing realisation that the Naval Shipbuilding College is strengthening the connection between industry and the education and training sector.


“This will continue to help Australians prepare for the thousands of skilled and professional naval shipbuilding jobs that are coming.


“We’ve also been able to help out local high school students who are keenly interested in STEM and may be considering a future career in naval shipbuilding.


“It was great to support Trinity College in Adelaide and mentor their students in robotics as they gear up for the 2019 FTC Robotics World Championship.’’


The Naval Shipbuilding College’s Program Director Bill Docalovich said the highly experienced American experts possessed an enormous library of knowledge, skill and experience across multiple disciplines involved with naval shipbuilding.


“They are a critical resource to help create a skilled and sustainable Australian workforce that will be required to implement the Australian Government’s $90 billion Naval Shipbuilding Plan,’’ he said.


“By working alongside industry stakeholders our Subject Matter Experts are identifying the skills, training and experience the future workforce will need.’’

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