Last week, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding firms, Fincantieri, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with key Australian Unions for the Federal Government’s SEA 5000 Future Frigates Project.
The MoU will ensure that Fincantieri, if successful in their bid, will not only ensure the Future Frigates project is on track to produce the best possible naval vessels for the Australian Navy, but will revitalise Australia’s manufacturing industry, secure highly skilled jobs for Australian workers, and help build Australia’s shipbuilding capability.
Fincantieri is one of three bidders in the running to secure the Future Frigates project which would see nine new vessels built entirely in Australia for Australia’s defence force. The other competitors in the running are Britain’s BAE Systems and Spain’s Navantia.
The Future Frigates project is due to begin production by 2020 in South Australia, providing hundreds of much needed manufacturing jobs for the state. Enrolments for a new Naval college in South Australia are set to begin in the second half of this year to support the project.
Also included in the MoU was a commitment for a yearly summit, to ensure the company is on track to meet the agreed terms in the MoU and provide opportunity to amend any sections which are no longer relevant or add any new conditions that need to be included to meet any changes to workplace rights or economic changes.
ACT Director of Professionals Australia, David Smith said “Australia is in dire need of major projects which generate good, steady jobs for engineers and other workers in the shipbuilding industry.
“This is the most important and complex project in Australia, providing an enormous opportunity to fast track our move into advanced manufacturing and create the smart jobs of the future through.
“That opportunity will only be seized if we do the vast majority of work locally in Australia to get the flow on benefit to Australian workers through direct jobs in the supply chain.”