NT Industries

Home > NT Industries > Defence Support Industries Maritime Maintenance
boat in the water under red lights
Icon
Defence Industries Maritime Maintenance

Defence Maritime Maintenance is a Defence Support Industries. It is the non-uniformed, civilian ‘workforce behind the Defence Force’ with expertise and trade skills in sustainment, through life support and upkeep of Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Australian Border Force (ABF) marine vessels.

It includes a network of mostly NT Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and individual contractors working in supply chains of ‘prime’ companies delivering and sustaining major Defence projects to the Royal Australian Navy and Australian Border Force. 

These enterprises and contractors service many industries, but also have unique expertise working in challenging environments specific to Defence maritime and commercial working vessels:
 

  • Large, complex systems (similar to sustaining a ‘self-contained town’) Fig 1.
  • Advanced technology
  • Cramped, hot or wet conditions and/or
  • Servicing at sea in changing weather conditions.

Fig 1. Systems that can require servicing by Maritime Maintenance

Darwin is rapidly growing as a key hub for home port maintenance for Defence, Border Force, Offshore Oil and Gas and general maritime industries.

-NT Economic Development Framework, 2017

Industry Intelligence

ISACNT engaged with NT industry, the Australian Defence Force, the Northern Territory Government, the Industry Capability Network NT and reviewed national papers and reports to inform this industry insight.

 

Current State

NT Defence Support Industries currently service marine vessels including the Armidale Class Patrol Boats (ACPB) and Cape Class Patrol Vessels (CCPV) in Darwin.

Strengths

Geo-political and economic

  • The NT’s proximity to Asia and maritime borders are strategically important to Defence 
  • Government commitment to Defence Industry growth in NT
  • Darwin Harbour is 5 times larger than Sydney Harbour
  • Port of Darwin is the nation's northern gateway for Australasian trade

Workforce and capability

  • 114 NT businesses identify as Defence capable, experienced and engaged in maritime maintenance activity
  • NT businesses are meeting current maritime service demand (80% commercial, 20% Defence)
  • Increasing Defence and maritime opportunities and service demand 
  • Additional capability exists; 187 additional businesses may have transferable skills, accreditations or certifications or have relationships to collaborate with businesses that do
  • Industry, Government and Defence are committed to working together to improve maritime capability and capacity for the NT

Training and skills

  • The NT Apprenticeship training system is robust and meets entry level skill demand for industry
  • Recent growth of NT Oil and Gas Industry and large infrastructure projects are maturing local workforce skills (quality, OHS, technology) 

Challenges

Geo-political and economic

  • Changing global leadership creates uncertainty in region
  • Regional weather and remoteness can create challenging maritime conditions 

Workforce and capability

  • Defence, Oil and Gas, Maritime and Defence Support Industries compete for similar, limited skills in a thin market
  • Demand for shared skills increasing:
    • Large scale non-Defence projects (Ichthys and Shell Prelude moving into commission-operations phase)
    • Darwin supply base and Port of Darwin activity levels increasing
  • Interstate recruitment of NT workforce
  • Defence clearances can be difficult to obtain for individuals and businesses

Training and skills

  • Increasing demand for post trade training and higher-level skills 
  • Insufficient industry, training providers, individuals and Government investment and participation beyond Certificate 111 and IV qualifications
The number of workers employed to support Defence procurement projects is relatively small in the context of Australia's industrial base, which suggests that there is sufficient workforce capacity to support Defence Industry. However, some skills and occupations that are critical to Defence Industry are in general shortage within our economy and there is competition for these skills from other industries.

-Building Australian’s Defence Supply Capabilities, Skills Australia, 2012

Future State

In the future, there is scope in Darwin to provide maritime maintenance services as part of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program. The Darwin Ship Lift and Marine Industry Park will attract even more opportunities to the NT when constructed.

Opportunities

Geo-political and economic

  • Australia’s long-term focus to develop sovereign capability 
  • Government’s commitment to modernising Darwin maritime infrastructure will increase service demand requirements 
  • Darwin’s port and harbour presents strong economic growth potential

Workforce and capability

  • Defence’s commitment to creating opportunities for businesses and skilled labour to apply their expertise, trade and technical skills to support the ADF and ABF
  • Additional capability in the NT exists: 187 businesses with transferable skills, accreditations and certifications can become Defence engaged 

Training and skills

  • Increasing demand for post trade training and higher-level skills
  • Defence’s commitment to collaborating with industry and training organisations to develop expertise, trade and technical skills to support the ADF and ABF
  • Greater investment by industry, government and training providers in post trade training and higher-level skills can increase local skill base and attract additional industries to the NT
  • Developed career pathways from entry level to professional roles can incentivise skilled workers to stay in NT for longer 

Threats

Geo-political and economic

  • If Darwin maritime infrastructure projects are delayed
  • Changing global leadership creates instability in the region
  • Regional weather and remoteness can create challenging maritime conditions  

Workforce and capability

  • If the NT is unable to respond to service demand and higher-level skills needs:
    • Defence Industry will source interstate labour hire or Fly-In, Fly-Out workers through their supply chains
    • NT capability constricts as demand grows
  • New technology demands, and rapid change will impact the sector 

Training and skills 

  • Insufficient industry, training providers, individuals and Government investment and participation beyond Certificate 111 and IV qualifications
  • Scarce high-level trade and IT skills in the NT
There will be significant opportunities for workers and businesses already supporting Defence and those working in other industries to be part of the Defence Industry.

-Defence Industries.gov.au

Skills in Demand

The ADF, ABF, Defence Support Industries and NT enterprises and contractors have identified critical workforce skills in high demand to meet service requirements of Defence Maritime Maintenance now and into the future.

Critical skills in demand include:

  • Professional trade skills, knowledge, currency and work experience
  • Project management skills
  • Mechanical or electronic skills 
  • Numeracy & literacy proficiency beyond skill level 3 or 4 (Qualification Cert III or IV) 
  • Technical problem-solving skills
  • Documentation and record keeping
  • Competence in working with International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/ Class Society compliances (Lloyds Register; Bureau Veritas; Det Norske Veritas (DNV))

Other skills in demand:

  • Reliability and responsibility
  • Willingness to learn
  • Safety awareness
  • Effective communication skills
Over the next decade and beyond, the demand will increase for Australian workers with trade, technical, science and technology skills within Defences Industries…. to maintain our ships, submarines…. As well as other support capabilities.

-Myskills.gov.au

Occupations in Demand & Career Pathways

   

National qualifications and degrees offered in the NT required to fill occupations in demand include  the following tables. The tables identify the lack of local training at the Certificate IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels that would allow for career progression from entry-level trade requirements through to professional degrees and specialised skill sets, required for growth opportunities in the NT. 

The workforce employed within the Defence Support Industries also require time on tools ‘minimum 3-5 years’, including workplace mentoring and professional development growth which is required to support sustainment of a skilled NT workforce.

Investment in post trade training is essential to the long-term capability and capacity of industry to support Defence in Maritime Maintenance.

-ISACNT

Technical/Trade Occupations

Occupations in demand requiring trade-based qualifications in the NT are listed below. Defence Maritime Maintenance workers career pathways have been identified. These occupations may require additional licences, accreditations, certifications and specialised training to work on Defence contracts.

NT Apprenticeship / Traineeship

Training Delivered in the NT

NO NT Appreticeship / Traineeship

NO Training Delivered in the NT

Electronic Instrument Trades Worker

ANZSCO # 342313 Installs, maintains and repairs electronic equipment and systems such as audio and visual reproduction equipment, home entertainment systems, computers and electronic security systems. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III Instrument and Control

Certificate IV Instrument and ControlorCertificate IV in Electronics and Communications

Diploma of Instrument and Control EngineeringorDiploma Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering

Advanced Diploma of Industrial Electronics and Control Engineering

Electronics Technician

ANZSCO # 342314 Installs, modifies, maintains and repairs electronic instruments and control systems. Registration or licensing may be required. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III Electronics and CommunicationorCertificate III Electrotechnology Electrician

Certificate IV Electrical InstrumentationorCertificate IV Electronics and Communications

Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering

Advanced Diploma of Electronics and Communications

Higher Education pathways include Degree – Bachelor Engineering Electronics; Technician (Electronic Engineering)

ICT Hardware Technician

ANZSCO # 313111 Supports and maintains computer systems and peripherals by installing, configuring, testing, troubleshooting, and repairing hardware. Skill Level: 2

Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology

Certificate IV in Computer Systems Technology

Diploma of Telecommunications EngineeringorDiploma of Information Technology NetworkingorDiploma of Computer Systems Engineering

Advanced Diploma of Information Technology

Higher Education pathways include Degree – Associate Degree of Network Engineering or Diploma of Engineering

Heavy Diesel Mechanic

ANZSCO # 321212 Maintains, tests and repairs diesel motors and the mechanical parts of trucks, buses and other heavy vehicles such as transmissions, suspension, steering and brakes. Registration or licensing may be required. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology

Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical OverhaulingorCertificate IV Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis

Motor Mechanic

ANZSCO # 321211 Maintains, tests and repairs petrol engines and the mechanical parts of lightweight motor vehicles such as transmissions, suspension, steering and brakes. Registration or licensing may be required. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology

Certificate IV Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis

Diploma of Automotive Technology

Higher Education Pathway Diploma of Engineering

Fitter general

ANZSCO # 323211 Fits and assembles metal parts and subassemblies to fabricate production machines and other equipment. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade

Certificate IV in Engineering

Diploma of Engineering - Advanced TradeorDiploma of Engineering - Technical - Maintenance Technician

Industrial/Marine Electrician

ANZSCO # 341111 Installs, tests, connects, commissions, maintains and modifies electrical equipment, wiring and control systems. Registration or licensing is required. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III Electrotechnology Electrican

Certificate IV Electrical - InstrumentationorCertificate IV in Electrotechnology Systems ElectricianorCertificate IV Engineering (Electrician -Electrical Maintenance)

Diploma in Electrical Equipment and Systems EngineeringorDiploma of Electrical Engineering

Advanced Diploma of Electrical Engineering

Higher Education pathways include Degree - Associate Degree of Engineering (electrical and electronics specialisations)

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic

ANZSCO # 3421111 Installs and repairs water, drainage, gas and sewerage pipes and systems. Registration or licensing is required. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration

Certificate IV in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Servicing

Diploma of Electrical and Refrigeration and Air-conditioningorDiploma of Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering

Hydraulic Fitter

ANZSCO # 323211 Fits and assembles metal parts and subassemblies to fabricate production machines and other equipment. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Engineering Mechanical TradeorCertificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical TechnologyorCertificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology

Certificate IV in Engineering (Maintenance)

Plumber

ANZSCO # 334111 Installs and repairs water, drainage, gas and sewerage pipes and systems. Registration or licensing is required. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Plumbing

Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services

Diploma of Plumbing and Services

Welder First Class

ANZSCO # 322313 Fabricates and repairs metal products using various welding techniques. Skill Level: 3

Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade

Certificate IV in Engineering

WTIA Coded Welding Course (Industry Qualification) – AS1796

Where required specialised Welder Certification ie. DNV certification

Management and Professional

Management and professional occupations in demand in the NT are listed below. Defence Maritime Maintenance career pathways have been identified. These occupations may require trade qualifications, additional licences, accreditations, certifications and specialised training to work on Defence contracts. In some, a university degree has been identified.

NT Apprenticeship / Traineeship

Training Delivered in the NT

NO NT Appreticeship / Traineeship

NO Training Delivered in the NT

Project Manager

ANZSCO # 133211 Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates the engineering and technical operations of an organisation. Skill Level: 1

Certificate IV In Project Management Practice

Certificate IV in Leadership and Management

Diploma In Project Management

Multiple Higher Education pathways for project management are available, Graduate Certificate through to Master’s Degree

Scheduler

ANZSCO # 312911 Develops maintenance planning strategies, and schedules, coordinates and monitors the maintenance of all plant equipment. Skill Level: 2

Certificate IV In Project Management Practice

Diploma of Engineering – Technical - Maintenance Technician

Estimator

ANZSCO # 312114 Prepares and delivers estimates and cost plans for construction projects up to the tender settlement stage. Skill Level: 2

Certificate IV In Project Management

Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Estimating) (Process Based Learning)

Corporate Services - Contracts Manager

ANZSCO # 132111 Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates the overall administration of an organisation. Skill Level: 1

Diploma of Business AdministrationorDiploma of Business

Associate Degree of Legal Studies

Bachelor of Accounting; Bachelor of Business; Bachelor of Commerce (Business Law)

Occupation Health and Safety Coordinator

ANZSCO # 251312 Develops, implements and evaluates risk management policies and programs, trains employees in occupational health and safety procedures, monitors and audits the workplace, and records and investigates incidents to ensure safe and healthy working conditions. Skill Level: 1

Certificate III in Work Health and Safety

Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety

Diploma of Work Health and Safety

Quality Assurance Manager

ANZSCO # 139914 Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates the deployment of quality systems and certification processes within an organisation. Skill Level: 1

Diploma of Quality Auditing

Resources and Useful Links

Resources

Australian Industry Standards IRC, Maritime Skills Forecast, 2017.

Australian Defence Industry, The Workforce Behind the Defence Force, Australian Government, 2018.

Deloitte and NT Government, Our Economic Future; Increasing private sector investment to grow Territory jobs, NT Economic Development Framework, Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, 2017.

Department of Defence, 2016 Defence White Paper, Commonwealth of Australia, 2016. 

Industry Capability Network, Marine services Industry in the Northern Territory – Statement of Capacity, NT Government, 2017.

KPMG, Australia’s Marine Industry Capability – Research into the Marine Manufacturing sector in Australia, July, 2017.

NT Government, Northern Territory Defence and National Security Strategy 2018, Department of Trade Business and Innovation, February 2018.

NT Department of Treasury and Finance, Northern Territory Budget 2017-2018, NT Government

Skills Australia, Building Australia’s Defence Supply Capabilities – Main Report for the Defence Industry Workforce Strategy, Department of Education and Training, Commonwealth of Australia, 2012.

Strategic Defence Support Group, Defence Strategy – Northern Territory Beyond 2015 – Expanding our role and capability in Defence and national security, NT Government, 2016.

Useful Links

Australian Government Department of Education and Training

My Skills

Australian Industry Defence Network

Northern Territory Government

Industry Capability Network (ICN)