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Chair of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), John Pollaers, is urging employers, employee representatives and industry experts to have their say on the membership of a new Naval Shipbuilding Industry Reference Committee (IRC).

“The Naval Shipbuilding IRC will be established by the AISC to ensure the vocational education and training (VET) system is meeting the specific skill needs of the industry,” said Prof Pollaers. 

“Industry needs to get behind this new IRC to ensure it sets the competency standards in training packages that will build the skilled workforce to deliver the Australian Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan, which includes 12 regionally superior conventional submarines, nine future frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels.”

The new IRC will complement, and work with, the Naval Shipbuilding College, established by the Australian Government. As well as examining and updating training package qualifications and skillsets, the IRC will consider new approaches to career structuring and identify opportunities for collaboration across VET, higher education and industry sectors.

“There is strong demand within the naval shipbuilding industry for workers in traditional trades, as well as workers with higher technical skills attained through a mix of vocational and higher education studies,” said Prof Pollaers, a former naval officer.

The Naval Shipbuilding Plan, which was released in 2017, will lead to about 5,200 new shipbuilding jobs and more than double that number in sustainment, in less than a decade.

The new IRC membership and structure is currently open for public comment until COB Friday 4 May at:

About the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC)

The AISC advises Commonwealth and State and Territory Skills Ministers on the implementation of national vocational education and training policies, and approves nationally recognised training packages. The AISC draws on advice from its network of Industry Reference Committees (IRCs), which are made up of people with experience, skills and knowledge of their particular sector. They work across their industry to ensure their advice reflects the needs of employers and the modern economy.

Media contact:                       Claire O’Halloran        0427 326 962