Under the program, 12 scholarships have been awarded to engineering and trade students in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, each with a value of $10,000, to help cover education costs. In addition, three of the scholarship recipients have also been awarded internship placements, including one with Civmec.
Civmec Executive Chairman James Fitzgerald said: “We are thrilled to partner with Luerssen Australia, ASC and the Defence Teaming Centre to support young Australians in establishing the skills and expertise required to meet the demands of a continuous naval shipbuilding program, and it is with pleasure we welcome Kayla Roemer-Hanisch back to the business. The recipient of the Civmec internship, Kayla undertook work experience with us this year, and we look forward to providing her with further hands-on experience to enable her to forge a career in the Australian shipbuilding industry.”
Chairman of Luerssen Australia, Tim Wagner, said the SEA program was part of “our commitment to helping Australia build a world-class workforce that will be essential for the Government’s $89 billion naval shipbuilding program”.
Construction of the Luerssen-designed vessels, which will be 85m in length and equipped with a forward gun turret and helicopter, began last month. The first two will be built by ASC in Osborne, South Australia, using steel cut by Civmec at its facility in Henderson, Western Australia, with the remaining 10 to be built by Civmec in its new state-of-the-art Ship Assembly Hall currently under construction at Henderson.
The scholarship program is being administered by the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) and addresses the naval shipbuilding workforce challenge, which will require more than 5,000 skilled employees to build the OPVs, Hunter Class Frigates from 2020 and Future Submarines from 2022.
ASC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said: “ASC is proud to partner with Luerssen and Civmec to launch these scholarships, which will deliver the high-calibre future engineers and tradespeople Australia will require to deliver continuous naval shipbuilding for decades to come.”
Participants include those with masters, bachelors and Cert III qualifications, which shows that regardless of what you are studying, there is an opportunity for a long-term career in naval shipbuilding.
Defence Teaming Centre CEO Margot Forster said: “The DTC has been very pleased to work alongside its industry partners to deliver this initiative. Successful applicants have diverse education backgrounds from vocational all the way through to doctorate students. This shows that there are so many ways that you can get involved in the naval shipbuilding industry in Australia.”