Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo and Defence Minister Christopher Pyne have officially announced a plan detailing how new jobs will be created to help deliver the government’s $200 billion investment in the nation’s defence capabilities.
The strategy outlines how the Commonwealth government will help Australian defence industry meet its workforce skills requirements with an initial investment of $32 million over the next three years.
Minister Ciobo welcomed the announcement and the opportunities it would present Australia's defence industry, saying, "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."
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 co-ordination 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.
Minister Ciobo said, "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."
"There is a long-lead time to developing many of the skills needed by defence industry, which is why we’ve developed this strategy."
Minister Pyne said building a strong defence industry will help Australia secure its interests at home, in the 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."
The Commonwealth government has announced a $200 billion investment in the modernisation of the nation's defence capabilities. There will be more opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to join over 3,000 business already working in the defence industry. Many of the opportunities will not be directly with Defence, but in the supply chains of the ‘prime’ companies that deliver many of the major Defence projects in Australia.
Over the next decade and beyond, the demand will increase for Australian workers with trade, technical and science and technology skills to build and maintain fleets of new ships, submarines, armoured vehicles, infrastructure and facilities, and contribute to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber and other electronic and information based capabilities. Australian design, construction, integration, sustainment, services and support capabilities will all be critical.
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. Further information on the Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy be found at: www.defenceindustry.gov.au.