Birdon to Help Resolve Critical Skills Shortages


Under the ‘Engineering Our Future’ campaign launched by the Australian Maritime College (AMC), Birdon is investing along with other industry stakeholders to help resolve critical skills shortages in the maritime engineering industry.  Birdon is one of three Platinum level sponsors and will support AMC’s awareness and recruitment efforts, as well as have a chair on the steering committee for the 5-year endeavour.

Despite the Federal Government investment in shipbuilding programs and broader industry commitments, the number of people choosing to earn degrees in naval architecture, ocean engineering, marine and offshore (systems) engineering is at an all-time low.

“The maritime industry is thriving, but the number of qualified maritime engineers has declined significantly since 2012, directly impacting the ability of Australian industry to recruit the workforce needed to undertake nationally significant projects,” said Michael van Balen, AMC Principal.

As Australia embarks on its biggest naval ship building program since World War II, with over $90 billion being invested in the design and construction of new ships, submarines, shipyard infrastructure and workforce development, Australia’s production of domestically trained maritime engineers is declining.

The Australian Maritime College is the National Institute for Maritime Education, Training, and Research and provides both defence and civilian industry stakeholders with a supply of highly skilled maritime engineering graduates. AMC has called on industry to become co-investors in the future of Australian sovereign engineering capability by helping fund a five-year targeted student recruitment campaign.

The bespoke student recruitment campaign will not only focus on career opportunities within the maritime industry but also aims to highlight science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as critically important in the goal of alleviating the severity of future skills shortages within the maritime engineering professions.

As a diversified maritime company, Birdon has witnessed firsthand the demand for engineering skills quickly outpacing supply now and for the foreseeable future. “The sooner we act, the sooner we’ll start alleviating the skills shortage.” David Fogg, Manager of Engineering and Design at Birdon, says.

“As a nation, we have a Strategic need to build a more robust pipeline of STEM skills and #STEM teaching. A career as a marine engineer or naval architect contributes to the safety, security and prosperity of our country, and we need to inspire the next generation of Australian engineers.”

“There is a real threat to meeting our sovereign capability needs as a nation if we do not take a well-coordinated and collaborative industry approach in addressing the maritime skill shortages. We are proud to be an industry partner in this crucial campaign.

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