SA Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarships Program powering South Australia’s high skilled defence industry workforce

This morning, at APC Technology, the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall met with and congratulated students who have benefitted from the South Australian Government’s $600,000 investment in the development of higher-level skills and careers pathways into South Australia’s defence industry through the South Australian Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarships Program.

The scholarships program is supporting South Australian university students to undertake industry placements as part of their degree with companies in South Australia’s rapidly growing defence industry. Students at Flinders University, the University of Adelaide and UniSA who are completing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in science, technology, engineering, maths or business are able to build into their degree a semester-long placement of work-integrated learning with a host company in South Australia’s defence industry.

Participating host companies, like APC Technology, have been able to bolster their project and research capabilities by including high calibre undergraduate or honours-year students into their research and development teams in roles as diverse as cyber security and networking, software engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and mechatronics.

Premier Marshall said he was incredibly proud of the dedication these students have shown throughout their time with the scholarship program – which has now set them up for a long, rewarding career in one of South Australia’s key growth sectors.

“This program is all s South Australian jobs and how we can capitalise on the opportunities that are coming our way with the unprecedented growth of the defence sector,” Premier Marshall said.

“Connecting our bright and talented university students with the local defence sector provides them with on-the-job instruction and mentoring that cannot be underestimated, and through successful programs like this, we are ensuring that the state is developing a workforce with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to deliver the multitude of defence projects in the State.

“The fact that the majority of students have been offered ongoing employment in the defence industry as a result of the program shows just how vital it is.”

Stephen Myatt, the South Australian head of the peak employer association Ai Group, said the investment by Premier Marshall to enhance the higher-level skills supply in the State’s defence industry, through the scholarships program, has meant that many small to medium sized companies have been able to grow their skills base and expertise by partnering with South Australian universities to offer opportunities to students to be part of an exciting research project or project team developing the technologies critical to the many of South Australia’s defence projects.

“The new partnerships that defence industry companies have been able to create with universities as part of the program has meant that more career pathways are being created for local students to enter the industry and fill the local skills gaps and shortages that are being felt by the industry during its expansion,” Mr Myatt said.

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