As the defence industry continues with an extensive modernisation of Australian capability under a 10-year plan, Industry 4.0 is unlocking opportunities for suppliers and OEMs. These opportunities rely on the support of Industry 4.0 upskilling, and Australian training organisation Skills Lab has launched a nationally accredited course to help meet this demand.
The Diploma of Applied Technologies is the first industry-based offering and provides students access to technology at the forefront of Australian manufacturing, with learning opportunities provided in flexible time frames and with remote delivery options. Course content will focus on the strategic use of data to drive down cost, streamline asset management and provide greater responsiveness to the defence supply chain.
Skills Lab has partnered with Ai Group and a number of TAFEs across Australia, equipping the defence workforce to harness connected technology and unlock the potential of smart, monitored and self-maintaining equipment.
“This diploma supports organisations to explore what problems could be solved using technology. As such, this is an incredibly exciting, leading-edge nationally accredited course, highly beneficial for those organisations wanting to invest in building the skills needed to equip for the future,” said Laura Mabikafola, Skills Lab general manager.
Guided by in-house engineers and technicians, students will have access to extensive domain knowledge, including end-to-end project delivery and defence compliance.
The diploma is resourced with industry-leading technology, with students gaining real-time experience in workplace problem-solving for their current employers. A range of practical assessment tools will be used to track learning that can be contextualised to add value to the defence industry through a focus on digital supply chain management.
Skills Lab trainers can also draw on experience applying these technologies to defence industry projects completed by SAGE Group, so diploma participants gain insight into how critical forward-thinking is to the defence industry.
“Given that this sector faces constant pressure from time frame, cost and compliance, the ability to capitalise on improved production is hugely enticing for anyone working with, or supplying to, the defence sector,” said Paul Johnson, general manager of defence, SAGE Automation.
The course content has been curated for upskilling the workforce in the use of big data and cloud-based systems to improve efficiency and safety outcomes. Cybersecurity will also be embedded in learning to boost awareness across businesses.
“As more organisations recognise the need to utilise big data, the ability to know where to start, who to ask, what technology could be used and what skills are required are often the first questions to emerge. Industry 4.0 is essentially the next industrial revolution we are entering, as a result of connected technology,” said Mabikafola.
The diploma will be delivered over a period of at least one to three years and will provide graduates with hands-on experience and an industry-recognisable qualification. Off-job training will be delivered in blocks, or via part-time options that support local industry requirements. Skills Lab also provides virtual training options, which align with to the in-class offerings, using software to enable active participation while learning.
The pilot program was officially launched in Adelaide on 8 May to kick off the national rollout. Other Australian states are set to launch their delivery shortly.