Australia — Future Submarine Industry Skills Plan

Min­is­ter for Defence Stephen Smith and Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced more details on the Future Sub­ma­rine Indus­try Skills Plan.

The Future Sub­ma­rine Project is the biggest and most com­plex Defence project Aus­tralia has ever embarked upon.

It will involve hun­dreds of com­pa­nies and thou­sands of work­ers.

It will involve Fed­er­al and State Gov­ern­ments, Defence, indus­try, uni­ver­si­ties and the Aus­tralian pub­lic work­ing togeth­er for gen­er­a­tions to come.

The skills need­ed will include sys­tems design, naval archi­tec­ture, propul­sion and com­bat sys­tem engi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion engi­neer­ing, project plan­ning and con­trol, pro­duc­tion sched­ul­ing, mate­r­i­al pro­cure­ment, risk man­age­ment, bud­get con­trol, finan­cial account­ing, con­tract man­age­ment, sys­tems inte­gra­tion, and trade skills such as welder, boil­er­mak­er, and elec­tri­cian.

In Decem­ber the Min­is­ter for Defence and the Min­is­ter for Defence Materiel announced that the Defence Materiel Organ­i­sa­tion would devel­op a Future Sub­ma­rine Indus­try Skills Plan.

Today, the Gov­ern­ment released details of how that work will be under­tak­en.

The Future Sub­ma­rine Indus­try Skills Plan will iden­ti­fy what is required to build and sus­tain the skills required to suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er Australia’s Future Sub­ma­rine capa­bil­i­ty.

The Plan will:

  • Deter­mine the type of skills required to suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er the Future Sub­ma­rine Project;
  • Deter­mine the size and pro­file of the work­force required to suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er the Future Sub­ma­rine Project;
  • Deter­mine the cur­rent capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty of the Aus­tralian ship­build­ing indus­try, in terms of skills and work­force;
  • Deter­mine the cur­rent pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of the Aus­tralian ship­build­ing indus­try and estab­lish com­pa­ra­ble inter­na­tion­al bench­marks;
  • Analyse the naval ship­build­ing projects cur­rent­ly in the Defence Capa­bil­i­ty Plan and cal­cu­late the effect these projects will have on growth of the capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty of the Aus­tralian ship­build­ing indus­try;
  • Analyse cur­rent edu­ca­tion and train­ing pro­grams, includ­ing appren­tice­ships, and cal­cu­late the effect these pro­grams will have on growth of the capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty of the Aus­tralian ship­build­ing indus­try;
  • Pro­pose alter­nate sce­nar­ios for sequenc­ing Defence projects that will bet­ter deliv­er the capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty required to suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er the Future Sub­ma­rine Project;
  • Pro­pose improve­ments to the edu­ca­tion and train­ing pro­grams that will bet­ter deliv­er the capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty required;
  • Pro­pose oth­er actions required to deliv­er the capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty, includ­ing indus­try pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, required to suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er the Future Sub­ma­rine Project; and
  • Pro­pose a man­age­ment arrange­ment with­in Defence, par­tic­u­lar­ly the DMO, for the ongo­ing man­age­ment of a sus­tain­able naval ship­build­ing pro­gram.

The plan will be devel­oped by a team be led by the Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of the Defence Materiel Organ­i­sa­tion Mr War­ren King.

It will be sup­port­ed by an Expert Indus­try Pan­el head­ed by Mr David Mor­timer, AO.

Mr Mor­timer has over 40 years of busi­ness expe­ri­ence. He is the for­mer Chair­man of Leighton Hold­ings Ltd and the for­mer CEO of TNT. He is the cur­rent Chair­man Aus­tralia Post and Cres­cent Cap­i­tal Part­ners.

Mr Mor­timer is the Chair of the Defence Indus­try Inno­va­tion Board and is a Direc­tor of the Defence Strate­gic Reform Advi­so­ry Board. From 2004 to 2008 he was also Chair­man of the Defence Pro­cure­ment Advi­so­ry Board.

In 2008 Mr Mor­timer was appoint­ed by the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment to con­duct the Defence Pro­cure­ment and Sus­tain­ment Review known as the Mor­timer Review.

The Mor­timer Review made 46 rec­om­men­da­tions to improve the capa­bil­i­ty acqui­si­tion process, increase invest­ment in Defence indus­try skills and incor­po­ra­tion of improved com­mer­cial prac­tices into Defence pro­cure­ment.

These rec­om­men­da­tions along with those made as part of the Kin­naird Review in 2003 and reforms announced by the Gov­ern­ment last year have made a sig­nif­i­cant impact of the Defence project approval process which last year saw a record 49 projects worth in excess of $6 bil­lion approved by the Gillard Gov­ern­ment.

The Expert Indus­try Pan­el will include rep­re­sen­ta­tives of DMO, Navy, the Depart­ment of Indus­try, Inno­va­tion, Sci­ence, Research and Ter­tiary Edu­ca­tion, Skills Aus­tralia, unions, the CEOs of the four prin­ci­pal Aus­tralian naval ship­build­ing com­pa­nies; ASC, Austal, BAE Sys­tems and For­gacs Engi­neer­ing and the CEOs of the prin­ci­pal naval sys­tems inte­gra­tion com­pa­nies: Lock­heed Mar­tin, Raytheon, Boe­ing, Thales, Saab Sys­tems and BAE Sys­tems.

This group will con­sult wide­ly with State Gov­ern­ments, Aus­tralian indus­try, indus­try asso­ci­a­tions, uni­ver­si­ties and oth­er aca­d­e­m­ic organ­i­sa­tions and think tanks to devel­op this plan.

The Pan­el will com­mence their work this month and the Plan will be pre­sent­ed to Gov­ern­ment by the end of the year.

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia