Rheinmetall Defence Australia is one of the leading providers of high-tech protection assets for soldiers on deployment. In 2019, Rheinmetall Defence Australia was awarded a contract to build 211 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles in South East Queensland.
TAFE Queensland is the largest and most experienced provider of vocational education and training in Queensland.
A partnership between the two created a pathway to raise the skill level of experienced Australian welders to the better practice standard (ISO 9606). Australia has had a lack of qualified welders which meant to fulfil contractual obligations, companies and supply chains would be required to bring in overseas workers. This strategy would not align with the Australian Defence Force commitment to maximise local Australian industry involvement.
The collaboration has created the Fusion Welding Program, which delivers high-level training to the local workers building the new combat vehicles.
TAFE Queensland has developed the capability of its staff to deliver more than 20 short courses to more than 100 welders.
The scope and scale of current defence projects support long-term skilled jobs in this industry. However, by raising the capability of local workers and businesses, the opportunity to compete for further work on the international market has increased.