Creating the next generation of employment-ready graduates – Naval Shipbuilding College

Creating the next generation of employment-ready graduates

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Naval Shipbuilding College, in conjunction with industry, is leading the establishment and development of a highly skilled Australian shipbuilding workforce to strengthen the pool of future engineering talent available for the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.


Forty students studying engineering degrees at QUT and RMIT have today been welcomed into the National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship Pilot Program.


Currently in the third year of their degree these students are studying engineering disciplines which have been identified as being in high demand across the shipbuilding industry in the coming years including computer and software systems, mechatronics, mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering.


Launched in 2020, the National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship Pilot is an Australian Government funded initiative, facilitated by the Naval Shipbuilding College, which aims to strengthen the pool of future engineering talent available for Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise.


The program covers the costs of the student’s third and forth years of study, assists with the purchase of educational materials, and connects students with 12-week paid placements across the enterprise.


One of the students welcomed into the program today, Lachlan White, is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours) at RMIT. He says that the scholarship is helping to reduce financial pressure, allowing him the flexibility to direct more of his time and energy to his studies. It also allows him to keep in touch with his favourite hobby, sailing, which ignited his passion to study engineering.


“I have been heavily involved with competitive sailing since I was 12. Within this hobby, I have developed an interest in the characteristics of a boat’s design that makes it faster or more efficient, as well as developing a passion for hydrofoil design.”


During his sailing career Lachlan caught the eye of the Australian Olympic Sailing Team which saw him compete around the world. He takes this high-performance mindset, teamed with a keen desire to understanding how things work, into his studies.


The shipbuilding industry in Australia was relatively unknow to Lachlan before he started researching the scholarship, which has opened his eyes to an exciting world of possibilities as a mechanical engineer within the sector.


In addition to the 40 new students, the program is already supporting 32 fourth year students, who have now completed their 12-week paid work placements, gaining crucial on-the-job experience and putting their studies to practical use.


Caleb Klein is majoring in Computer and Software Systems at QUT, with a minor in Robotics and Software Engineering. His work placement with the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), the key delivery agency for defence capability, has given him an invaluable insight into defence operations.


“My placement has been spent making or improving various software tools used by other parts of the Defence environment. As an inexperienced undergraduate there are many software development programs that I am not able to access, so a large part of my learning has been in applying my knowledge to find acceptable solutions while limited in my capability,” said Caleb.


“The most beneficial thing for me was a chance to apply my university-based abilities to real-world problems, and to make sure my learning was up to an acceptable professional standard. I’ve enjoyed being able to use my skills in a way that’s beneficial to people in real situations rather than a simulated environment.”


This is Caleb’s second degree, as he is also undertaking a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics. His love of the programming and software development aspects of this degree drove him to gain further experience in what is fast becoming a strategically important element of defence capability.


This niche expertise, alongside his experience through his work placement, has paid off with Caleb now securing ongoing work with CASG.


For both Lachlan and Caleb, the naval shipbuilding industry provides the opportunity for a diverse, cutting edge, long term career.


To find out how you can be part of this exciting industry, join the NSC’s national Workforce Register, so we can connect your with one of our Candidate Engagement Consultants for your confidential career conversation.

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