Fifty-one shipbuilding workers have all started in new highly-skilled roles after graduating from Australia’s first digital shipbuilding course, the Diploma of Digital Technologies. Developed through a partnership between Flinders University and BAE Systems Maritime Australia, the Diploma was launched in March 2020 and funded by the Federal and South Australian governments The inaugural group of graduates have been recognised at a special ceremony held at Flinders University’s Tonsley campus, after successfully completing the digital upskilling program.
The Diploma equipped graduates with the digital skills required to support the $45 billion Hunter Class Frigate Program, which is being delivered by BAE Systems Maritime Australia. During the 10-month course, students developed future-focused skills in innovation and industry 4.0, cybersecurity, digital design, design for manufacture, cyber-physical systems, robotics and automation.
In congratulating the students on their achievement, Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling reflected that the course is testament to the power of partnerships. “I extend thanks to the federal and state governments for their support in bringing this award-winning program to life, built on the combined expertise of Flinders University and BAE Systems Maritime Australia, in collaboration with TAFE SA. Congratulations to our inaugural students for their determination and resilience in completing this course despite the disruptions of Covid-19.”
BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director Craig Lockhart, says the Diploma of Digital Technologies provided shipbuilders on the AWD program the opportunity to update their skills and knowledge by combining theoretical approaches to Industry 4.0 technology with hands-on experience. “The students are already applying the skills they’ve learned over the past 10 months at the new shipyard at Osborne, where prototyping for the Hunter Class Frigate Program is underway. More than half of the group have transitioned from trade-based roles to engineering, project management and supply chain roles, and I’m looking forward to watching Hunter’s newest employees forge new career paths.”