Statement on ASC

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Media contact

Release content

24 April 2018

The Government has been notified by the Australian Submarine Corporation of a reduction of its workforce as work on the Air Warfare Destroyers winds down.

The slowdown of work for the ASC is the direct result of Labor’s failure to commission a single vessel from an Australian yard.

This inaction has impacted on the stability of shipbuilding jobs as well as the capability of our Navy.

Under Labor, the NUSHIP Sydney would have been the last vessel built at Osborne, however in stark contrast, the Turnbull Government has committed to build 11 new ships at Osborne, and 12 new submarines.

While continuous naval shipbuilding will create thousands of jobs for decades to come, there will be a period of transition as our current shipbuilding workforce redeploys to new opportunities being created across our defence industrial base.

In the meantime the Government is taking action to retain as many ASC employees as possible in a number of ways beyond our significant investment including:

  • A targeted retention strategy to create up to 200 positions within ASC Submarines for current shipbuilders working on the Air Warfare Destroyer Program. This includes:
    • Up to 100 workers will support the Future Submarine Program Office and fill vacant positions in the Collins-class sustainment workforce.
    • Scholarships to workers to support opportunities to upskill in roles in operations management, computer-aided design, and engineering and supply chain fields.
  • The Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd has advised Defence that an additional 600 direct jobs will be created through the Osborne South shipyard redevelopment.
  • Confirming two Offshore Patrol Vessels will be built by ASC Shipbuilding with production starting in the fourth quarter of 2018, directly employing up to 400 workers at Osborne and 600 indirect.
  • Establishing the Naval Shipbuilding College to increase the size of the shipbuilding workforce and deliver the skills needed.
  • ASC secured a further renewal of the Collins-class submarine sustainment contract for a further five years.

The Turnbull Government’s $90 billion continuous shipbuilding program will drive jobs for decades into the future.

Over 25,000 jobs are expected to be supported both directly and indirectly as a result of the massive program.

The naval shipbuilding workforce is expected to grow to 5,200 by the mid-2020s.

Other related releases