An $18.34 million package has been unveiled by the Western Australian state government to help build a pipeline of skilled workers for manufacturing.
The funding will support upcoming defence projects to WA and enhance the state’s capacity to secure future defence work, which is expected to be valued up to $75 billion nationally over the next decade.
This workforce investment will help with the construction of up to 45 naval vessels from 2024-25, generating about 700 direct and indirect jobs.
The package includes:
- $8.5 million for an additional $20,000 incentive, on top of existing financial subsidies, for shipbuilding employers to take on apprentices in key trades;
- $2.85 million to create an additional 335 apprenticeships in nominated defence trades;
- $3.3 million in training and development of new TAFE short courses to create a ‘defence ready’ workforce;$800,000 in scholarships to encourage women and Defence veterans to take up a career in the defence manufacturing industry;
- equipment upgrades to facilities at South Metropolitan TAFE to assist with training in defence-related industries;
- establishment of a dedicated defence industry team at Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre to undertake careers promotion across all schools and provide advice to job-seekers and potential workers;
- development of a maritime defence industries toolkit to provide practical advice for job-seekers.
The program will be co-funded between the state government and industry, with each party contributing $5,000 per scholarship. It will create 20 scholarship opportunities per year for both women and defence veterans.