The Bunker Group
As you say, a massive shortage of skilled tradesmen. It is in all sectors and it isn’t only due to boom and bust cycles. Many of today’s young people are directed to college by well meaning parents. Unfortunately, many end up enrolled in dead end degree programs. There here needs to be an aggressive marketing campaign to convince both parents and youth that there are huge opportunities for skilled tradesmen (and this is applicable to women as well).The US has a massive looming shortage of qualified trades and STEM graduates for areas like defence.
Remembering the peace dividend in the 90's pretty much saw the industry massively shrink, with no new blood coming in and mass layoffs. This continued into the 00's. Also in the this time the new blood that came in, was often deflected out again (last in first out) and capable people finding and moving on out of their careers. The backbone is also retiring, not just on the front line, but in trade schools etc.
There are huge demographic problems. Across multiple countries.
Also you might have an adhesion problem. Send a whole bunch of young trades people, with Australian accents, to the US for a few years, get them trained up in an in demand skill. They might want to stay over there. (fox in hen house problem).
Same problem exists locally. Australia however has been pretty lucky, the mining and energy boom has meant we actually kept a lot of talent in the pool. CIVMEC for example hopes to pivot their workforce across into defence to keep the core alive as that industry slows. ASC has tried to keep its workforce adapted to surface ships and refurbs, as its been
nearlyover 20 years since the last Collins boat was launched.
Ultimately short cuts often aren't that short or easy.