More funding for defence industry interns

At the National Defence Skills & Workforce Summit, Minister for Defence Industry, Melissa Price, announced that the federal government will increase its funding for the Defence Industry Internship Program.

The number of internships provided now increases to 70, delivered in partnership with small businesses around the country.

“The Program links engineering students with defence industry by facilitating 12 week internships with defence industry small businesses,” said Price, in describing the program.

The program is designed to provide practical experience in the defence industry, while creating pathways for the workers who will deliver the government’s investment in defence capabilities.

“As a key initiative of the Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy, the Morrison Government is investing $1.9 million in the Defence Industry Internship Program in 2019-20,” said Price.

In addition to the internships program, the Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy includes a grants program for defence industry to implement skills training, $2.6 million for the Schools Pathways Program, and the creation of the Defence Industry Skills Office.

In outlining the government’s strategy to support the skills needed for defence build-up, Minister Price noted that those the Defence industry needs are in demand, and come from a limited pool.

“All sectors of the economy will want to employ people with these skills — not just defence industry. So if we want a thriving defence industry, it’s clear that we have to build a workforce with the necessary skills.”

This means we have to increase the uptake of students studying relevant subjects.”

Subjects listed by the Minister included STEM subjects, as well as trades qualifications.

Minister for Jobs and Small Business, Michaelia Cash, also highlighted that the success of this strategy will require industry engagement.

“To get the most out of our investment and deliver the capability we need, it is imperative that we continue to drive engagement with industry and fast-track the national collaboration needed to grow the skills-base of Australian defence industry, and help this sector thrive,” said Cash.