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The Defence and Shipbuilding Industry

Defence and shipbuilding is a key industry for South Australia in our transition away from traditional manufacturing towards a high-tech manufacturing future.

Programs secured for our State in naval shipbuilding are expected to create around 5,200 jobs by the mid-to-late-2020s, with many already opening today.

South Australia is Australia’s Defence State, with billions in defence projects underway, generating job opportunities across a range of professional and trade occupations. Looking forward, there are multiple programs which will require highly skilled workers in South Australia:

  • The Offshore Patrol Vessel programme is due to commence in 2018, creating around 400 jobs.
  • The $35 billion Future Frigate program is due to commence in 2020, creating around 2,000 jobs.
  • The $50 billion Future Submarine program is due to commence in 2022/23, creating around 2,800 jobs.
  • The upgrade of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network is due to commence 2018, creating around 250 jobs.
  • Growth in cyber security and big data across multiple projects will create hundreds more jobs.

Working in Defence and Shipbuilding

A wide range of required skillsets are already emerging in the growing defence and shipbuilding sector – these include marine engineers, naval architects, maritime electronics, defence signal informational processors, military systems integration and support, trades supervisors, project managers and production planners, electricians, welders and boilermakers.

Training at the new Naval Shipbuilding College, headquartered in Adelaide, will start in 2018 to provide a frigate workforce for 2020. The college will support apprenticeships, cross training and returning workers.

Find out more about working in the defence and shipbuilding industry

Training Available

Young South Australians studying for careers in science technology, engineering and mathematics can feel confident that there will be jobs ready for them in defence and shipbuilding industries, here in their home state. Defence-specific courses currently on offer in Adelaide include:

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Naval Architecture), Flinders University and Australian Maritime College
  • Master of Marine Engineering (in association with ASC Pty Ltd), University of Adelaide
  • Master of Project Management (in association with ASC Pty Ltd), University of Adelaide
  • A range of vocational education and training courses are available through TAFE SA and private providers to develop customised skills and defence and shipbuilding training

Explore your training options at WorkReady or Defence SA.

Career Services are ready

If you’re looking for work, thinking about getting back into work or would like to work more hours, Career Services offer a team of experienced and qualified people who can help you make a decision about the best career path for you.

Your career adviser can show you practical steps to start, advance or change your career to work in one of our State’s many emerging industries. They will provide one-on-one support to help you connect with the learning, training and work opportunities available to you.

To find out more, call the Skills and Employment Infoline on 1800 506 266 , or visit Career Services online.

Local Defence and Shipbuilding Opportunities

Jobs in the defence and shipbuilding sector are already opening. See positions currently available on to be part of this growing industry.

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