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A Call to Arms: The Workforce of the Future

Billions of dollars are being spent in the Defence Industry, with work beginning in naval shipbuilding in South Australia and Western Australia from 2018; and employment opportunities will continue to open up throughout Australia for the next thirty to forty years!

It’s an exciting time, not only for today’s students, but also for the next generation who have not yet set foot in the classroom. And it’s time for parents and schools to seriously encourage and nurture the STEM skills that will secure a bright future for young Australians.

During the construction phase, over 5200 workers will be required; and by 2026 over 15000 people will be employed directly and indirectly in:

  • Construction activities
  • Managerial roles
  • High-tech
  • Engineering

(And that’s not including the apprenticeship programs that are planned to develop Australia’s future skills base!)

So let’s get the kids in our classrooms thinking about the job diversity this call to arms brings; and talking about the opportunities of a STEM career in the future Australian and global workforce.

Here’s just a taste.

General management

Management, administration, marketing, purchasing


Design, drafting, computer-aided design (CAD), engineering, estimating, planning, program control, project management


Structure: Steelworker, plater, boilermaker, structure welder, shipwright/fitter, team leader, foreman, supervisor, progress control (fabrication)

Outfitting: Electrician, electrical technician, calibrator, instrument technician, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) installer, hull insulator, joiner, carpenter, fiberglass laminator, machinist, mechanical fitter/technician, fitter, turner, painter, caulker, pipe welder, piping, machinery insulator, sheet metal, team leader, foremen, supervisor, progress control (cutting), weapons systems.

Direct support

Rigger, stager, slinger, crane and lorry operators, service support, cleaners, trade assistant, ancillary, stores, material control, quality assurance/control.

(‘South Australian Business Journal Special’, The Advertiser, 26th August 2017)

Note: The ‘Work Skills’, ‘STEM’ and ‘Jobs of the Future’ modules in The Work-Ready Program have activities, workshops and information to help your students to identify their strengths and interests, and to explore future