A group of aspiring shipbuilders and marine engineers from Perth will today meet one of the world’s leading shipbuilders when they tour Civmec’s world-class shipbuilding facility under construction in Henderson WA, the result of an $80million investment from the company.

Students* from Cecil Andrews College will learn first-hand about the exciting opportunities for Australia’s shipbuilding future when they meet with Peter Luerssen, the head of 140-year-old German shipbuilder and designer Luerssen. Peter Luerssen will be joined by Jim Fitzgerald Executive Chairman of Civmec and Mike Deeks, Managing Director of Forgacs Marine and Defence.

The students will also hear about the strong opportunities for local apprentices as Australia’s shipbuilding industry forges a new path towards a bright, export-oriented future.

When complete, Civmec’s state-of-the-art facility at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson will be the largest undercover shipbuilding space in Australia, housing about 1000 workers and rivalling the best shipyards in the world.

The seven-hectare $80m facility underpins Civmec’s commitment to expand its manufacturing facilities in Western Australia, in order to play a lead role in the Commonwealth Government’s $89 billion naval shipbuilding program.

Civmec and Luerssen, along with partner ASC, are bidding for the Commonwealth’s SEA1180 Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program.

Peter Luerssen said Luerssen, Civmec, and ASC shared a commitment to investing in local facilities and talent to prepare the industry for a naval construction boom and to establish Australia as a naval exporter to the region.

“With investment in local infrastructure and skills we can create an innovative sovereign naval shipbuilding capability,” Mr Luerssen said. “Civmec has already returned advanced manufacturing jobs to Australia and in investing in this facility will create even more jobs for young Australians.

“We want naval shipbuilding to be an attractive career path for young, bright Australians like those joining us  today. I hope in seeing this facility we can cement in the students mind’s that naval shipbuilding is an exciting and satisfying industry to work in.”

Managing Director of Forgacs Marine and Defence, Mike Deeks said the investment in the Henderson facility reflects Civmec and Forgacs’ philosophy, that industry – not government – must do the heavy lifting to ensure the future commercial success of Australia’s shipbuilding sector.

“The Government’s continuous naval shipbuilding program provides an incredible platform for us to create a sustainable naval shipbuilding industry in this country but industry must do its bit to create opportunities and jobs.”

“Civmec’s $80million investment in our Henderson shipbuilding facility reflects how committed we are to Australia’s naval shipbuilding industry over the long-term,” Mr Deeks said.

Forgacs Marine and Defence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Civmec, will operate the shipyard facility when completed.

The students are part of P-TECH, a program that provides high school students with industry-supported pathways to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related diplomas and degrees.

Luerssen and its industry partners have also announced it will offer 12 scholarships valued at $10,000 each, per year, covering tuition and study related costs for relevant shipbuilding courses with internships at Luerssen, ASC Shipbuilding and Civmec/Forgacs offered to the three most promising scholarship students.

The company has guaranteed the first year of the program will be funded regardless of the outcome of the SEA1180 OPV tender and proposes the successful tenderer should continue funding the project to develop emerging talent in Australian naval shipbuilding.

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