Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has launched the Defence Industry Skilling Survey, giving Australian businesses and organisations the opportunity to have their say about the workforce challenges and skills-related barriers affecting their contribution to the modernisation of Australian Defence Force capabilities.
As part of this initiative to assist the Australian defence industry in having the workforce with the right skills to meet future capability requirements, the government has appointed Stephen Hayes MBE, an international management expert, as the national defence industry workforce and skills facilitator.
Hayes is the executive director of the Gravity Group, a global innovation company focused on the future of work and leadership. Hayes was also the founding managing director and former chief executive of the International Centre for Complex Project Management and the founding chair of the International Centre for Complex Project Management research council.
Hayes has a master's of management and is a graduate of Australian Defence Command and Staff Course. He served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 29 years and has held a military command and led the RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT), a tri-service training organisation providing VET training for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel in support of ADF aviation.
Hayes has also held posts in program management, systems engineering and human resource management. He had six appointments within the then Defence Materiel Organisation including as director maritime aircraft project and director emerging aerospace projects in addition to a project management exchange with the Royal Air Force.
Minister Pyne said that the survey was important and the defence industry sector is not well identified in broader workforce data and many defence firms work across other multiple sectors.
By participating in the Defence Industry Skilling Survey, businesses and other interested parties will help inform the development of the Defence Industry Skilling, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Strategy to be launched this year, Minister Pyne said.
"The survey will help us build a better picture of defence sector skills and identify trends that may impact capacity to meet Defence’s current and future capability needs," the minister said.
"The survey will also help identify priorities to be addressed through the strategy.
"The strategy will help ensure that the defence industry workforce and skills base is in place when required to support Defence’s capability needs over the next decade, and to maximise the opportunities for supporting Australian industry workforce capability, innovation and capacity.
"It is important that we highlight what our defence industry is and does, promote awareness and practical career paths in defence industry for Australian workers at all stages of their careers, and ensure that we can retain and upskill our defence industry to build greater capability today and for the future."
The strategy is an important component in the implementation of the government’s 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan released on 23 April.
Minister Pyne said the appointment of Hayes will assist Defence in identifying and assessing defence industry skills issues across government, industry and the education sector to achieve stronger collaboration and to support defence industry workforce needs.
“Mr Hayes’s brings an international reputation and expertise in the coordination of complex projects and will provide strategic advice to Defence, support and consultation with a range of stakeholders on Australia’s defence industry skilling and STEM challenges and gaps,” Minister Pyne said.
“Mr Hayes will also examine international defence industry skills approaches to draw together best practice and suggest options to Defence to address the long-term need for a skilled defence industry workforce.”
The Defence Industry Skilling Survey is anonymous and will be open until 20 July 2018. The survey is available here.