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Defence prime leads regional STEM workforce growth

lockheed martin regional stem program

Lockheed Martin Australia has signed a strategic partnership with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter to help develop the region’s future skilled workforce, which will be responsible for supporting the roll out of the Air Forces fifth-gen F-35s. 

The partnership – aimed at developing high-value, job-ready skills needed to create, and sustain, advanced technologies for defence industry was announced at the Lockheed Martin Australia Technology Expo 2018 held at Fighter World in Williamtown, NSW.


This initiative will connect Lockheed Martin Australia with local secondary schools, as well as vocational training and tertiary institutions, to inspire and mentor science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning and shape curriculums to address the region’s projected STEM skills required to operate, sustain and maintain the fifth-generation era of defence capability. 

Speaking at the official opening of the Lockheed Martin Australia Technology Expo 2018, Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Vince Di Pietro reiterated the company’s commitment to working with industry and education providers. 

"As home to Australia’s first squadron of highly advanced F-35 fighters and Australia’s largest regional economy, we understand the importance of the Hunter to our wider economic and national security interests," Di Pietro said. 

Lockheed Martin Australia is making an initial investment of more than $60,000 to support initiatives across the secondary, vocational and tertiary education continuum, specifically: 



  • RDA Hunter will partner with Lockheed Martin Australia and TAFE NSW, under a new STEMStart initiative, to shape vocational education curriculum that will ensure a job-ready, highly skilled, high value workforce to support the industry technologies of the future. The program will enhance the vocational pathway for technical training to include critical skills in cyber, ICT and programming, and attract students to the expanding sector.
  • Lockheed Martin Australia will support curriculum development across relevant STEM-related University of Newcastle courses. Called Project Altitude Accord, this initiative will support the contextualisation of curriculum to develop a 'fifth-generation' technology-enabled workforce to support Lockheed Martin Australia’s future job requirements.
  • The unveiling of the Future Generation STEM interactive display, which has been tailored to careers of the future and aims to take year 7-10 students on a journey from today, into the future and beyond with a range of interactive educational activities. 

Di Pietro added, "We are actively working with RDA Hunter as an industry partner to raise the technology base in this region of Australia and to help develop the innovative Australian high technology businesses so that the Australian Defence Force and our future fleet of F-35s remain at the leading edge of technology."

RDA Hunter chairman John Turner welcomed the new partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia. 

"Defence projects such as the F-35 deliver significant economic impact in the Hunter, bringing next-generation technology and related new, high-value, skilled jobs. RDA Hunter is delighted to collaborate with Lockheed Martin Australia to help STEM-skill students in preparation for these roles," Turner explained. 

The 2018 Lockheed Martin Australia Technology Expo provided an opportunity for over 300 secondary students (year 7-10) from the Hunter region. Exhibitors at the Lockheed Martin Australia Technology Expo 2018 included Lockheed Martin Australia, BAE Systems, Boeing, Varley Group, Pennant as well as University of Newcastle.

Defence prime leads regional STEM workforce growth
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