Digital Education for Digital Shipbuilding


Australia’s first digital shipbuilding course began a month ago, changing traditional shipbuilding education in this country.

The Diploma of Digital Technology is educating participants about digital technologies, connecting workers and information systems to ensure they learn and master the digital technology skills to work on the Government’s $35 billion Hunter-class frigate program.

The course is being run in partnership between ASC Shipbuilding – the prime contractor for the program – and Flinders University.

The world’s most advanced digital shipyards are being built in South Australia and the diploma will help foster a world-class Australian workforce which can leverage digital information and intelligence systems to facilitate greater innovation.

With the winding down of the Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyer Program, the diploma is ensuring that shipbuilding capability is retained.

One of the 53 participants enrolled, Tony, said he could not have envisaged studying a new diploma 12 months ago.

“These first few weeks we have been adapting to new systems, new software and new environments,” Tony said.

“It has been exciting to dive into something new, yet familiar, looking for ways to apply new ideas against old processes and outcomes.

“Everybody has been making progress in directions previously not considered.  I commend BAE Systems, ASC Shipbuilding and Flinders University for creating this diploma, allowing many of us to transition to the new shipyard, bringing further innovation along for the ride.”

With the challenges posed by COVID-19, students will be able to complete coursework online and, when permitted, will attend classes at Flinders University.

Australian Department of Defence, April 29, 2020.