$18.34 million package to build defence manufacturing workforce

  • Package to help build a pipeline of skilled workers to support upcoming defence projects and enhance WA’s capacity to secure future defence work
  • $8.5 million towards $20,000 incentives for defence manufacturing industry employers to train apprentices in key trades
  • $2.85 million to create an additional 335 apprenticeships in nominated trades
  • $3.3 million investment in training and development of new short courses to create a ‘defence ready’ workforce
  • Further investment in scholarships for women and Defence veterans, and facilities upgrades at South Metropolitan TAFE 
  • The McGowan Government has announced an $18 million package to build a pipeline of skilled workers in Western Australia to attract defence maritime projects to the State.

    This workforce investment will help provide the skilled workers needed to support upcoming WA defence projects and secure future defence work, expected to be valued at up to $75 billion nationally over the next decade.

    The package includes $8.5 million for an additional $20,000 incentive, on top of existing financial subsidies, for shipbuilding employers to take on in-demand apprentices in readiness for a pipeline of future work.

    The McGowan Government has also allocated $2.85 million to deliver 335 additional apprenticeship commencements in nominated defence trades in 2020-21 to achieve 200 apprenticeship completions by 2024-25.

    A further $3.3 million will be provided to create new TAFE short courses to support Western Australians to upskill and become ‘defence ready’.

    The package includes $800,000 to create two new scholarship programs to encourage women and Defence veterans to take up a career in the defence manufacturing industry.

    The program will be co-funded between the State Government and industry, with each party contributing $5,000 per scholarship. It will create 20 scholarship opportunities per year for both women and Defence veterans.

    Equipment will be upgraded at South Metropolitan TAFE, to assist with training students in defence-related industries.

    Four new computer numeric control milling and lathe machines will be purchased to train metal fitters and machinists, with workshops customised to accommodate the new machines.

    As part of the package, a dedicated defence industry team will be established at Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre to undertake careers promotion across all schools and provide advice to job-seekers and potential workers.

    A maritime defence industries toolkit will also be developed to provide practical advice for job-seekers and a dedicated ‘Jobs in Defence’ webpage and advertising campaign will be launched to continue to attract more Western Australians to WA’s defence manufacturing industry.

    For further information about the defence initiatives, visit the Jobs and Skills WA website at https://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/skillsready/defence or contact the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on (08) 9599 8655 or rockinghamjsc@smtafe.wa.edu.au

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “This is a significant investment to help supercharge WA’s defence manufacturing industry, creating vital employment and training opportunities for Western Australians.

    “WA’s defence industry is world-leading, and this package will ensure Western Australians are in the box seat to take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

    “My Government is committed to attracting defence projects to Western Australia and working with industry to build a trained and skilled workforce to meet the demand of current and future jobs in the defence sector.

    “Further, South Metropolitan TAFE’s long established relationship with the defence industry and expertise in defence-related training means Western Australia is well positioned to take on maritime defence-related work.”

    As stated by Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

    “The McGowan Government is establishing Western Australia as the primary hub for the maintenance and sustainment of submarines and frigates. We are creating hundreds of jobs for Western Australians over the next four years.

    “The training opportunities that will come from this initiative are really exciting and will further enhance the attractiveness of learning at TAFEs in Western Australia, in particular the courses at our South Metropolitan campuses.

    “Defence industry projects offer incredible opportunities for the State and this investment will further strengthen our capacity to secure high-value, job-creating work.”

    As stated by Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia:

    “Western Australia is continuing to invest significantly in the defence industry, with this workforce investment to provide local people with the skills they need to get jobs on these projects.

    “These initiatives will not only bolster our capacity to complete current projects but demonstrate the State’s readiness to secure billions more defence work in coming years.”

    As stated by Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley:

    “By encouraging the employment of veterans in Western Australia’s growing defence industries sector, we can leverage the skills, knowledge and attitudes these highly trained people gained through their service with the Australian Defence Force.

    “Supporting veteran pathways into civilian employment and leveraging off their economic potential is essential if we are to help our veterans to find a new sense of purpose and identity.”

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