West Australian high school leavers would be offered a 12-month defence industry traineeship under a new Commonwealth government program.
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The federal government has launched the Defence Industry Pathway Program — a new $10 million graduate initiative designed to provide West Australian high school leavers with the opportunity to secure a fully-funded, 12-month traineeship.
The initiative, which aims to bolster the state’s defence industry workforce, was developed in partnership with WA’s South Metropolitan TAFE and the maritime defence industry.
The pilot program, which is open to WA’s school leavers who have completed year 12, is expected to support 120 students by mid-2022, with the first cohort of 20 graduates set to commence in July.
The Commonwealth government has committed almost $45,000 per trainee, funding their wages, on-costs and uniform.
“This program is designed to build a pipeline of talent that is ready to be part of Australia’s booming shipbuilding industry,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.
“We are investing $75 billion in the maritime domain, focused on the construction, upgrade and sustainment of new and existing classes of naval vessels.
“With the increasing demand for workers in the shipbuilding industry in Western Australia, the maritime defence industry needs to grow its workforce.”
Minister Price noted the importance of attracting and retaining the next generation of designers, engineers, scientists and technical tradespeople.
“We need our young people to know that there are diverse, valuable and exciting careers to be found in the defence industry,” the minister added.
The Australian Marine Complex in Henderson is expected to host the new program; however, the government has said it could be extended to other sites across Australia.
This latest announcement follows the launch of a new job portal earlier this month, set up to support Australia’s shipbuilding workforce.
The government, in partnership with the defence industry, unveiled a new shipbuilding jobs website to better link industry with the prospective workforce.
The initiative was supported by a partnership between the federal government’s Naval Shipbuilding College and key partners, and it is hoped that it will facilitate Australia’s current ongoing shipbuilding programs as well as Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding industry into the future.