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Liberals call for Naval Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce

The announcement that South Australia will be involved with the construction of the Australian Navy’s new offshore patrol vessels and frigates provides an exciting opportunity for our State, according to State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

To take full advantage of this opportunity we must ensure that South Australians have the required skills and qualifications to fill as many jobs on these projects as possible.

“We have nation leading shipbuilding infrastructure at Osborne and a highly skilled workforce but we must ensure we further develop our skills to take full advantage of these shipbuilding opportunities,” said Mr Marshall.

“It would be a wasted opportunity if when this shipbuilding work starts in South Australia we have to bring employees in from interstate and overseas.

“That is why I am today calling on the State Government to immediately establish a Naval Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce.”

The Naval Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce should: 

-          Identify opportunities for delivering targeted skills training to prepare South Australians for shipbuilding projects;

-          Develop options for re-skilling manufacturing workers who have recently lost their jobs or are at risk of losing their jobs;

-          Work with the Federal Government, ASC, contractors and training providers to identify potential skills shortages; and,

-          Coordinate a transformation project to ensure the South Australian training system is focused on the right areas.

“With just two years until construction of the OPVs begins we need to hit the ground running,” said Mr Marshall.

“The Weatherill Labor Government’s training system is in a mess and must be fixed before this project commences.

“South Australia has been presented with an exciting opportunity, it’s time for us to grab this opportunity with both hands and ensure we have the skills to fill as many jobs as possible.”