Defence Industry Skilling and STEM strategy to create new jobs

A plan detailing how new jobs will be created to help deliver the Australian government’s $200 billion investment in defence capability was launched at the beginning of March.

Minister for Defence Industry, Steven Ciobo, released the first Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy at the 2019 Avalon International Airshow.

The strategy outlines how the government will help Australian defence industry meet its workforce skills requirements with an initial investment of $32 million over the next three years.

“The strategy is part of the government’s plan to grow a robust, resilient and internationally competitive Australian defence industrial base that is better able to help meet defence capability requirements,” said Ciobo.

“Australia’s defence industry is about to enter a new era of growth, thanks to our record $200 billion investment in defence capability, with opportunities in trades, advanced manufacturing, engineering, ICT, cyber security and other fields across Australia.

“There is a long-lead time to developing many of the skills needed by defence industry which is why we’ve developed this strategy,” he said.

Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, said building a strong defence industry will help Australia secure our interests at home, in our region and across the world.

“The Defence and industry partnership is very important to this endeavour; Australia’s defence industry is vital to our national security,” he said.

Highlights of the Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy include:

  • $4 million for a new model of skilling support grants, administered through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, that will help reduce the financial barriers SMEs face when up-skilling their workforce,
  • $2.6 million for the 2019-20 continuation of the Schools Pathways Program,
  • An additional 20 places in the Defence Industry Internship Program. There will now be 50 internship opportunities in defence industry SMEs to facilitate pathways into the sector,
  • Defence will establish the National Defence Industry Skills Office to improve collaboration and coordination between industry stakeholders. The Office will help facilitate information sharing, put defence industry’s skills concerns in a national context and leverage opportunities for collective action to meet the sector’s workforce needs.

A national defence industry skilling and STEM summit will be held in in the second half of 2019 to facilitate targeted engagement between key stakeholders and the office.