THE Australian Maritime College and TAFE SA will help deliver an advanced maritime workforce for the Australian Government’s $90bn Naval Shipbuilding Program.

The new engineering education pathways were officially launched at an event featuring students and staff from 20 South Australian schools in Adelaide last week.

It is estimated that up to 15,000 jobs will flow from the continuous construction of a new fleet of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels, 9 Hunter Class anti-submarine frigates, 12 Future submarines and 21 Pacific Patrol boats.

AMC principal Michael van Balen said that the flexible education pathway aims to encourage students to complete the courses they needed to qualify for future jobs.

“Under the new pathway graduates of seven TAFE SA programs now qualify for automatic entry into the Australian Maritime College’s world-famous degree programs,” he said.

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“They will also receive credits that shorten the time it takes to complete their degrees by up-to one third. “

Mr van Balen said the maritime industry was in a transformative phase.

“The shipyard of the future is becoming increasingly digitised and the demand for people with advanced skills and capabilities has intensified,” he said.

“The purpose of this education pathway program is to make sure that a young person in Adelaide, who might want to start in welding, is given every opportunity possible to keep upskilling and if desired move into other fields of the maritime industry as their personal skills, confidence and expertise grows.”

The agreement follows AMC’s recent partnership with the Naval Shipbuilding College to deliver courses aligned with the needs of the naval shipbuilding industry.

The director of defence industries at TAFE SA Penny Johnston said the education pathway established in Adelaide would help students in South Australia and beyond to get a job in the massive ship and submarine building program.

“These are more than just jobs, they are career pathways that will be ongoing for the next 20-30 years and it is our intention to make sure that as much of the workforce as possible is Australian, and that South Australians are given every opportunity possible to get the qualifications they need to participate in these incredible projects,” Ms Johnston said.

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