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Defence industry capability development

With the growth of defence industries in Australia and internationally has come increased complexity in the skills needed to deliver modern equipment and services. We’re working with partners in industry, education and government to ensure Queensland businesses have access to the welding, systems integration, engineering, coding and other specialised capabilities they need to fulfil defence contracts.

Pathway to defence

We have released a four-part video training series which helps businesses with the pathways into defence.

Defence Materials Technology Centre Industry Capability Development

The Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) is a partnership-based organisation founded under the Australian Government’s Defence Future Capability Technology Centre Program. Their mission is to build Australian industrial capability to enhance our nation’s defence and national security capabilities.

We’re partnering with DMTC to benchmark and develop businesses across Queensland through their Industry Capability Development Program in welding. Through this program we’re contributing to a national network of “Defence-ready” companies with benchmarked, globally competitive welding capabilities. This will set up Queensland businesses with the latest skills and techniques needed to work on maritime and land vehicle projects.

Find out more about DMTC’s Industry Capability Development Program in welding.

Find out more about improving manufacturing efficiency.

TAFE Queensland – Advanced Welding Course

Advanced vehicles need advanced manufacturing techniques. The number of major projects in Queensland’s defence, maritime and advanced manufacturing sectors is creating demand for welders qualified to the ISO 9606 fusion welding international standard.

We’re partnering with TAFE Queensland to help meet that demand by supplying 15 state-of-the-art augmented reality welding simulators for training Queenslanders. These simulators will fast track experienced welders to reach the required standard in less time and at a lower cost than traditional methods, while receiving instant, real-time feedback on their work.

More qualified welders means more opportunities for Queensland businesses to take on leading edge defence projects.

Find out more about TAFE Queensland’s Advanced Welding Course.

TAFE Queensland – Naval Shipbuilding College endorsement

The Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) is leading the charge to ensure Australia has the skilled and sustainable workforce needed to deliver on the Commonwealth’s first continuous Naval Shipbuilding Program. TAFE Queensland was the first educational facility outside the NSC’s home state of South Australia to receive the organisation’s training endorsement.

Queensland students who have completed a Certificate III in Engineering-Fabrication Trade (welding component) are now considered “job ready” for shipbuilding jobs across Australia. Queensland businesses employing these skilled workers now have the capabilities they need to tender for ship building and sustainment contracts.

For more information on the course, including how to register, visit TAFE Queensland.

Industry case study

Skilling up Queensland welders for major defence projects: Soldamatic augmented reality welding simulators

Through technology and collaboration with industry, the Queensland Government addressed a critical skills shortage in fusion welding.

The international welding standard ISO 9606 is increasingly required for precision fusion welding of materials in manufacturing industries such as defence, maritime and aerospace. In 2017, peak body Weld Australia identified only 17 people held this qualification.

These skills were needed in Queensland following the award of the $5.2 billion Land 400 contract to Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) to build more than 200 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles in South East Queensland. The Queensland Government worked with RDA and TAFE Queensland to set a path to address the ISO 9606 welding skills shortage through specialist trade training.

To spark growth in the supply of capable welders, the Queensland Government invested $800,000 to purchase 15 state-of-the-art augmented reality welding simulators to fast track more experienced welders to be workforce ready sooner.

The technology is transportable, allowing the simulators to move across regional Queensland, wherever the demand for training exists. This means regional areas with a specialist sector focus—such as maritime in North Queensland—have been able to access ISO 9606 training delivered through regional TAFE facilities.

A further investment of just over $2 million from the Queensland Government has supported TAFE Queensland SkillsTech to train 135 welders to ISO 9606 standard, with extra funding secured to train another 104 welders in 2020/21 due to the demand and success of the program.

Working with the Queensland Government, TAFE Queensland has been able to grow its defence focus, gain course endorsement from the Naval Shipbuilding College, engage with the Defence Material Technology Centre on welding standards and compliance, assist veterans transition from the ADF and support industry.

John Tucker, TAFE Queensland SkillsTech

Receiving support from TAFE Queensland with our welding recruitment testing and training allowed us to rally a talented pool of Queensland welders and send them to Rheinmetall Germany for further advanced training. With a Memorandum of Understanding now in place between RDA and TAFE Queensland, we can work hand in hand to ensure workforce skills match industry needs.

Rheinmetall will be growing here in Queensland for decades to come, so building a highly skilled workforce is critical to supporting operations at our Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence.

Gary Stewart, Managing Director, Rheinmetall Defence Australia

As an industry leader in ship repair and maintenance, Norship focuses on sustaining a highly skilled workforce. Sending our boilermakers to gain certification in ISO 9606 has diversified our already accomplished fabricators and increased Norship’s competitive edge in the maritime industry.

Olav Groot, CEO, Norship

Bringing the right skills and knowledge for defence projects to Queenslanders has helped bolster the local Land 400 supply chain capability and strengthened our workforce. This results in the delivery of high-value contracts that bring economic benefits to the whole state.

Last updated: 15 Feb 2023