• Credit: BAE Systems
    Credit: BAE Systems

BAE Systems Australia has accepted forty apprentices to begin their trades careers in Adelaide, South Australia, the largest ever cohort to be deployed on the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

The apprentices will join more than 1,800 people already working on the program, most of whom are based at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, where Schedule Protection Blocks — to be used in anti-submarine warfare frigates — are currently under construction.

“We welcome each apprentice into the Hunter program and look forward to their development and contribution towards Continuous Naval Shipbuilding in Australia," said Craig Lockhart, Managing Director of BAE Systems Australia – Maritime.

“I started my own career journey as an apprentice technician and look forward to working alongside the cohort as they progress, developing skills and a combined capability that ensures South Australia is a key part of CNS for decades to come. Each apprentice underscores Australia’s commitment to establishing a sovereign capable workforce in shipbuilding.”

The apprentices will take up a range of roles in manufacturing, piping and mechanical trades. Five members of the cohort will start work as electro-technology and machining apprentices at our production workshops. Seven are existing BAE Systems employees who are continuing their career journey as mature-aged apprentices.

“It is fantastic to see a record number of new apprentices starting at BAE Systems in 2024. It is an exciting time to be entering the defence industry with South Australia preparing for its nation-leading role in the AUKUS deal and the ramp up of the Hunter Class Frigate Program build," said Blair Boyer, South Australian Minister for Education, Training and Skills.

“An apprenticeship with BAE Systems is achieved through years of dedication and hard work, whether from a school pathway or as a mature aged worker changing jobs, and can lead to a rewarding job for life in our shipyards.”

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