Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard’s new marine training and employment academy

Employment pathways into Australia’s booming marine industry will be made more seamless and tailored for marine businesses and prospective employment candidates thanks to an exciting new training and employment placement hub within the multi-award-winning Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM).

Aerial shot of Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard at sunset.
Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard.

Believed to be an Australian first for a shipyard to incorporate such a training academy, the GCCM Marine Trades Academy is the brainchild of GCCM management together with local employment and training specialists, DGT Employment and Training to provide a much needed pipeline of skilled marine trades workers to fill labour shortages.

Working with marine busineses within the industry and government employment agencies, the GCCM Marine Trades Academy will provide full service guidance around pathways, training and job placement individually tailored to both business and candidates in roles such as marine labourers, trade assistants, trimmers, fabricators, painters, electricians, carpenters, shipwrights and plumbers to name but a few.

According to the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Australia’s marine industry contributes more than $80 billion annually to Australia’s national economy. *

Mitch Ryan from DGT (left) and Trenton Gay from GCCM smiling on the dock.
Mitch Ryan from DGT (left) and Trenton Gay from GCCM.

Trenton Gay GCCM CEO says the marine sector has grown at an unprecedented rate and the job opportunities within the industry are incredibly diverse and plentiful so GCCM has answered the call for a much more sophisticated and innovative jobs pipeline into the industry.

“GCCM’s Marine Trades Academy will provide a well-located skills, training and employment support system with almost guaranteed job opportunities, including apprenticeships and traineeships, into one of the 90-plus marine businesses that operate within GCCM or further afield for marine trades businesses in other parts of Queensland or Australia,” Mr Gay said.

“Opportunities and career potential within the marine industry are so abundant but navigating the ‘how to get there’ can be overwhelming for both businesses wanting skilled workers, trainees or apprentices but likewise also daunting for candidates considering a marine industry trades career.

“Our GCCM Marine Trades Academy will leverage DGT’s expertise to marry up and match the needs of marine businesses with the right candidates to make it seamless and easy for both employers and school leavers, job-seekers, qualified tradespeople and others looking for career and job opportunities.”

Big yacht being pulled out of the water by cranes.
Vessel haul-out.

Mr Gay says the establishment of the GCCM Marine Trades Academy will further compliment the recent announcement that an $11.8 million TAFE Queensland Marine Centre of Excellence is also due to open in the Commera marine precinct with programs commencing early 2023.

“GCCM is really excited to partner with DGT to create a structured, centralised employment hub onsite to drive skills development and provide pathways and a pipeline of skilled workers for the marine businesses that we support,” Mr Gay said.

“The marine industry is fast-paced, multi-layered and ever-evolving so for those seeking out new career paths, the Academy is an ideal way to get the right advice and appropriate training – whether that be Vocational Education and Training (VET) through TAFE, DGT and other providers or through on-the-job training – to then leapfrog into a job within the industry,” he said.

“Australia is being recognised internationally now for the quality of marine trades we offer so it is important that we enhance the flow of job opportunities and talent within the industry.”

Person working on something that looks like a shaft. Head protective gear on.
“Australia is being recognised internationally now for the quality of marine trades we offer,” Trenton Gay said.

DGT Employment and Training (DGT) specialise in providing expert workforce employment and development services for businesses across Queensland and throughout Australia. For over 30 years they have partnered with businesses in key sectors to employ and train apprentices and trainees, and deliver training courses and programs that build capability and manage short, medium and long-term workforce needs and requirements.

Kris McCue, CEO of DGT Employment and training says demand is currently outstripping supply for qualified trades in the flourishing marine precinct and the establishment of this new Academy will be the much needed conduit between business labour/skills requirements and those wishing to enter or advance within the industry.

“We are delighted to be partnering with GCCM and believe the Academy will revolutionise and pave an easier way into the local marine industry,” Mr McCue said.

“Through the formation of the ‘GCCM Marine Trades Academy’ our aim is to develop a robust understanding of the needs of the marine businesses based onsite – which can be complex because of the breadth of scope of marine trades and skills required – and together develop customised skills training, employment pathways and other programs to meet these specific needs,” he said.

“From our centralised base at GCCM, we’ll also provide ongoing support, skills training and mentoring to assist students, trainees and existing workers looking to increase their skills in the industry to achieve their educational and career goals and and achieve trade qualifications. The pathways created will enable people seeking traineeships and apprenticeships in particular to complete work experience with leading marine businesses located in the shipyard to get the start they are wanting in the industry.

“We’ll be ideally located to connect the right candidates with the right opportunities to service an expanding market and furthermore, create a workforce with appropriate education and/or safety and other skills required by GCCM businesses.”

Someone with eye and mouth gear on, antifouling.

Mr McCue said for businesses needing fresh labour and talents, through the GCCM Marine Trades Academy they can tap into government funding for apprenticeships.

“We already have an intake open for 30 federally government funded internship positions enabling businesses to connect with new trainees at no cost or risk outlay to businesses wishing to trial these new talents,” Mr McCue said.

“Many of our Academy trainees or course participants are aged between 17 and 24 and from a variety of different backgrounds but quite often are those seeking pathways from unemployment to employment,” he said.

“The GCCM Marine Trades Academy will provide the perfect opportunity for candidates to find the right job for them within the industry while simultaneously, fulfilling the skills and labour shortages within the industry.

According to the Boating Industry Association, the marine industry in 2021 directly employed more than 27,000 people. **

GCCM has frequently been an epicentre for marine projects that generate a plethora of local jobs. M/Y Lady Christine (68m Feadship) recently travelled from Indonesia to undergo an extensive six-month refit at GCCM. Projects like this support dozens of local businesses, provide employment for hundreds of marine trades and offer substantial benefits to the Gold Coast economy. Since Lady Christine departed in late 2021, the amount of incoming work has yet to slow and businesses located in the precinct are experiencing skills and labour shortages.

For more than 20 years GCCM has propogated a solid foundation of skill and talent to ensure that the award winning facility continues to provide cutting edge services and craftsmanship for domestic and international vessels.

Mr Gay added that the establishment of the GCCM Trades Academy will provide the ideal channel to develop skills, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the local marine industry well into the future.

“GCCM’s ongoing success is highly dependent on the skills and experience of our trades,” he said.

“It’s vital that we continue to maintain the workforce of strong and competent trades that we have been globally recognised for since we first opened the gates over 22 years ago”.

With the 20 hectare Stage 2 facility in the pipeline (capable of lifting vessels up to 1400tonne), GCCM will continue to invest in new infrastructure and equipment and will certainly require a workforce that is ready to meet the future needs and demands of their ever-increasing customer base.

To find about more about the GCCM Marine Trades Academy and career opportunities in the marine industry contact Mitch Ryan on 0428 887 074.

By Andra Bite/GCCM


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NAV at Home
Jeanneau JY55
M.O.S.S Australia
NAV at Home