Peak industry body teams with Luerssen and local shipbuilders to deliver skills and education program.

Peak industry body Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) will join forces with Luerssen Australia and its partners ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs to deliver a new program in shipbuilding education and apprenticeships.

In a move to ensure the Shipbuilding Education and Apprenticeship (SEA) program delivers first class results, DTC will manage the program to ensure comprehensive engagement from education providers in the scholarship and sponsored vocational education program.

The announcement – made in Adelaide today as Peter Luerssen toured the ASC facilities – builds on the commitment to build a new generation of skills in naval shipbuilding.

The team of designer Luerssen and shipbuilding partners ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs is bidding for the Australian Government’s SEA1180 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program, which is expected to be decided in coming weeks.

The SEA program is designed to strengthen the OPV project and Australia’s ability to meet rapidly increased demand for maritime and shipbuilding skills and qualifications, as the Federal Government establishes sovereign continuous naval shipbuilding.

Luerssen and its industry partners will offer 12 scholarships valued at $10,000 each, per year, covering tuition and study related costs for relevant shipbuilding courses.

Applications for 2018 would open following the Luerssen-ASC Shipbuilding-Civmec/Forgacs team securing the OPV project, and close in mid-February in time for the beginning of the university and TAFE year.

Internships at Luerssen, ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs, would also be offered to the three most promising scholarship students, giving valuable hands-on experience at nation- and world-leading facilities, including the latest warship design and manufacturing expertise.

In its first year of operation, the SEA program will be made available to students from universities and vocational education institutions within the recently developed Defence Industry Education and Skills Consortium (DIESC) as well as The University of Western Australia and Charles Darwin University. DIESC institutions include The University of South Australia, The University of Adelaide, Flinders University, RMIT University, Edith Cowan University, South Metropolitan TAFE and TAFE SA.

Margot Forster, CEO of the Defence Teaming Centre said it was great to see the private sector investing in the next generation of Australian shipbuilders.

“The Defence Teaming Centre is proud to be a part of this program and encourages more companies to take Luerssen and its partners’ lead and invest in the future of shipbuilding in this country,” Ms Forster said.

Peter Luerssen, CEO of Luerssen, at ASC Shipbuilding to make the announcement, said Luerssen Australia was committed to meeting and exceeding Australia’s skilling, warship design, construction and export requirements, as set out in the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, released in May this year.

“Much like our approach in Europe, which incorporates successful exports, we will set up an export hub within Australia to service this region, which is seeing rapid strategic and military developments. It makes perfect sense for us to be investing in local skills and talent, Mr Luerssen said. “We expect the SEA program to be one way of developing future leaders of Australia’s world-class local industry.

Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer of ASC Shipbuilding, said the SEA initiative built on the company’s existing commitment and programs to boost STEM, vocational education and university-level education in the maritime industry.

“We’re excited about the future of the OPV program and Luerssen’s export strategy, which we fully support.”

ASC Shipbuilding shares the commitment of our partners as well as many young Australians to seizing the opportunities that will present themselves in the coming years, as part of the Government’s naval shipbuilding agenda,” Mr Lamarre said. “We want to see thousands more bright young Australians entering the industry at every level.”

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