The conference had several simulators on show for delegates to try, including this flight simulator. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

Shipbuilding conference in Geelong talks future jobs

June 5, 2019 BY

SOME of Australia’s leading experts in naval shipbuilding and training gathered in Geelong last week to discuss the best way to find the thousands of workers needed into the future.

The inaugural Navy, Industry and Academia (NIA) Training Conference brought together training professionals and thought leaders from across defence, industry, education and training providers to create innovative workforce development solutions.

The two-day conference at Deakin University’s Geelong Waterfront Campus saw participants engage in big idea pitching and presentations for innovative approaches to training and practical activities focused on learning theory, training delivery and the use of training technology.

One Geelong-developed technology on show is already proving its worth at the Navy – Deakin’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation was awarded a $2 million contract in 2017 to explore the development of a hot fire training system using its FLAIM Trainer.

The federal government plans to invest $90 billion in a sustainable, continuous program of ship construction – to be known as the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise – and has already established the Naval Shipbuilding College to help train those workers.

Naval Shipbuilding College training solutions manager Nick Howie said something in the realm of 15,000 new jobs would need to be created over the next 40 years to support the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise, and the supply chains would be spread across Australia.

“The rapid technological advancements in the construction and operation of ships and submarines will provide new opportunities for Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry.

“Today we have brought together leaders from navy, academia and industry to place our feet on the path towards the future of naval shipbuilding.”

Commodore Justin Jones from the Royal Australian Navy said the Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise would have benefits for many sectors, not just the Navy.

“What we’re looking at here is a cross-pollination of ideas; we’re looking at different ways to train; we’re looking at technology in training, particularly in simulation and live, virtual constructive training.

“We cannot continue to do things the way we’ve always done them throughout my career – we need to change the way we train and become far more agile and dynamic.”