Third or fourth-year engineering undergraduates have the opportunity to join small to medium enterprises in the defence industry under a Department of Defence funded program.
Initially funded for two rounds, the DoD has continued to fund AITEC, in conjunction with the Australian Industry and Defence Network (AIDN) to administer the Defence Engineering Internship Program (DEIP) for its sixth round.
DEIP aims to increases engineering students' level of interest in defence industry, particularly with SMEs.
The program provides Australian defence SMEs with the opportunity to market the defence industry as an innovative, interesting and viable career path to engineering students who undertake a sponsored work placement in their firm. The past five programs have attracted high-performing engineering students and exposed them to defence work.
Under the program, up to 30 selected engineering students are paired up with Australian defence SMEs for 12 weeks.
So far, 150 interns have gone through the program and interest among students is rapidly growing, with recent rounds garnering over 400 student applications for the 30 positions on offer.
AITEC told Defence Connect evaluation outcomes from the programs revealed that:
- 99 per cent of interns would recommend DEIP to other students;
- 98 per cent of SMEs would recommend DEIP to others;
- 85 per cent of interns indicated that they were now more likely to pursue a career in defence industry;
- 93 per cent of interns were considered suitable for a career in defence industry by their host SME;
- 33 per cent of interns have been offered ongoing work with the host SME after their internship; and
- 42 per cent of interns have been employed in the defence industry two years after the DEIP internship.
To assist both the students and the SMEs with this placement, DEIP provides financial incentives funded by the DoD. Under the structure of the program, the SMEs receive financial incentives to cover the cost to host the interns as well as reimbursement for the intern's payments.
So far, NSW SME Saber Astronautics, which recently secured a Defence Innovation Hub contract, has put itself forward as one of the companies looking to host an intern.
Online registrations opened yesterday and close September 1. Those interested in registering can contact AITEC via their website.