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Tri-lateral alliance set to address critical AUKUS workforce and skilling opportunities

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Defence companies Babcock Australasia (Babcock) and HII (NYSE: HII) have joined forces with the University of Adelaide, Curtin University, and the University of NSW to form the AUKUS Workforce Alliance (AWA) – a dedicated partnership committed to preparing a skilled workforce in support of all steps of Australia’s optimal pathway to sovereign nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS Pillar 1.

The AWA will work together in a tri-lateral alliance, combining proven and trusted knowledge, skills and unrivalled experience from across Australia, the UK and the US.
The AWA seeks to address the current and future workforce needs that are required to accelerate sovereign capability, capacity and resilience for Australia’s defence sector.

Working together, the AWA will educate the thousands of qualified Australian engineering, maritime and nuclear trade and professional workers required to support the nation’s nuclear-powered submarine enterprise from infrastructure, sustainment, supply chain through to disposal.

The AUKUS Workforce Alliance will:
• Establish a proactive, innovative and internationally recognised platform for skill enhancement and leadership to support development of a sovereign, nuclear-powered submarine workforce in Australia;
• Lead the development and execution of critical upskilling programs, focusing on harnessing the full potential of Australia’s industrial base;
• Foster cutting-edge research and practical experience for the future workforce.

Quotes attributable to:

Babcock Australasia Managing Director AUKUS and International Sir Nick Hine KCB

“Babcock is proud to be partnering with HII and some of Australia’s top universities in a true, tri-lateral alliance to form the AUKUS Workforce Alliance. “Collectively, we will equip the workforce with the knowledge and the skills required to deliver the most complex and largest Defence agenda in Australia’s history.
“Given our extensive global experience in sustainment, nuclear safety and stewardship, Babcock stands ready to assist Australia in delivering this very significant opportunity, including growing the required workforce to support the delivery of the nation’s first nuclear-powered submarines.”

HII President Nuclear and Environment Services Group Michael Lempke

“HII is proud to work with Australia’s education institutions and to bring more than 60 years of nuclear shipbuilding expertise to the training of a workforce capable of supporting, and ultimately executing, nuclear shipbuilding. The AWA is an investment in the security, and economic and technological progress of Australia. This comprehensive and rigorous training approach is also a commitment to the safety and protection of people and the environment and fostering public trust.”

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC

“The University of Adelaide is pleased to be joining the AUKUS Workforce Alliance (AWA). This alliance will strengthen and broaden the University’s partnering with industry in developing the workforce for the nation’s naval shipbuilding enterprise.
“The University of Adelaide has an outstanding global reputation for teaching and research as well as a strong track record of working closely with industry, government and our global partners.

“This partnership marks another step in the journey towards Australia realising the goals of the AUKUS partnership.”

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne

“Curtin is proud to be a foundation partner with global defence industry leaders HII and Babcock, and the University of NSW and University of Adelaide, in developing a highly skilled workforce to support the nuclear-powered submarine program in Australia and Western Australia.

“Drawing on our significant expertise in building strong, sustainable communities of practice and in resilience and defence capabilities, Curtin will generate WA’s talent pipelines in collaboration with our key strategic partners within state and federal governments, industry, and the broader education sector, noting initial workforce deployment will be centred around WA.”

University of NSW Professor Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor and President of UNSW

“UNSW is pleased to be contributing our unique expertise and capabilities to the ground-breaking AUKUS Workforce Alliance. We look forward to supporting the Australian Submarine Agency’s “whole of nation” skilling objectives through collaboration with our partner universities in Adelaide and Perth, as well as with two global defence industry primes, in Babcock and HII, boasting a deep shared submarine capability sustainment heritage.

“Our postgraduate and short courses across many faculties are geared to skill-building in advanced capabilities. Coupled with UNSW’s nation-leading Faculty of Engineering, the only nuclear engineering program in Australia with cutting-edge work on nuclear safety, UNSW is already pivoting towards generating the workforce needed across the entire nuclear ecosystem, from social licence to manufacturing facilities to regulatory authorities.”

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