Future Frigates program sets course for much-needed advanced, local manufacturing jobs

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Friday June 29, 2018

The Electrical Trades Union of Australia welcomes news that the Future Frigate building program has been awarded to BAE Systems, which will guarantee thousands of local jobs.

The announcement that $35 billion advanced manufacturing contract would create 4000 local jobs was a huge success for Australian workers and comes after a long and strenuous campaign by the ETU, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and other unions.

ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks said the decision to give the contract to BAE was a win for workers as the British company has had a good track record working with unions in Australia and elsewhere.

“Australians can feel safe in the knowledge that these ships will be built to the highest quality and the people who build the ships and install the high-tech systems that will run them will be highly-skilled union workers,” he said. 

Mr Hicks said there were thousands of job and industry opportunities for highly-skilled workers that were being missed but the Future Frigates program meant Australia was finally grasping the high-tech future of electrical work and manufacturing.

“This massive project will guarantee the sort of advanced manufacturing jobs that our members are ready for and have been calling out for,” he said. 

“The Future Frigates program will very soon create thousands of jobs at the ASC shipyards in South Australia and Western Australia, as well as jobs in the Australian businesses involved in the supply chain.

“This project has the potential to guarantee a future of Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector for generations to come, with skilled workers and apprentices at shipyards and hundreds of other involved businesses.”

While praising the announcement, ETU National Industry Coordinator Matt Murphy said Australia’s unions needed to remain vigilant and ensure the project was entirely carried out within Australia.

“The ETU will be monitoring this project to make sure these frigates are Australian built from bow to stern,” Mr Murphy said.

“Given the massive of amount of taxpayer dollars the Turnbull Government was putting into this project, Australians need to get bang for their buck.

“That means investing in Australian jobs, Australian businesses and Australian contractors.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, [email protected]

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