The defence sector in Western Australia is a trusted, stable and major employer. Education and workforce skilling requirements are guided by a whole of government strategic approach to ensure industry needs are sustainably met and the workforce of the State is recognised as one of the most highly educated, qualified and skilled of its type in the world.
The State Government has recognised the defence industry's vital importance for our WA economy, and for jobs creation, and is investing $18 million in defence initiatives including a new $20,000 incentive for employers in the industry.
We need skilled workers to meet future needs across the defence industry and prepare for major projects which will create hundreds of new jobs in WA. Fantastic career opportunities are available, particularly in four key trades areas; structural steel and welding, metal fitter and machinists; industrial electricians, and electricians.
This is an exciting time for the defence industry! To find out more about the State Government initiatives, follow the links below.
The Defence Industry Incentive for employers
The Defence Industry Incentive was announced on 22 September 2020, to provide financial assistance to WA businesses employing apprentices in four key trades within the defence industry.
Employers (including group training organisations) may be eligible for up to $20,000 per eligible apprentice. This is in addition to the Jobs and Skills WA Employer Incentive of up to $8,500 available to eligible employers.
Employers eligible to access the Defence Incentive are those who:
- have an active training contract that was registered with the Department of Training and Workforce Development Apprenticeship Office on or after 1 October 2020, and on or before 30 September 2021; and
- employ an apprentice who lives and works in Western Australia; and
- have been designated by Defence West as one of WA’s approved defence employers and/or supply chain employers; and
- employ apprentices enrolled into one of the following four approved qualifications:
- Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (MEM30305);
- Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (MEM30205);
- Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811); or
- Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician (MEM31219).
The program is also available to local government and government trading enterprises (GTEs) (see approved list of eligible local government agencies and GTEs) or not for profit organisations who are involved in the defence industry.
How much can an eligible employer receive?
Defence industry employers approved by Defence West may receive up to $20,000 per apprentice, as outlined below.
Milestone payment point
When apprentice passes probation (usually three months)
Year 2: 30%
One year after the commencement of the training contract
Year 3: 20%
Two years after the commencement of the training contract
If you have a query that has not been answered by the information on this page, please call the Apprenticeship Office helpline on 13 19 54 or send an email to email@example.com.
If you have a query about working in the defence industry, further information is available from Defence West.
Specialist defence industry team for careers advice
A dedicated defence industry team is available at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre to undertake careers promotion across all schools, and with veterans, and provide advice to jobseekers and potential defence industry workers about options for training and career planning. All services are free, and available to anyone in WA.
To contact the team, call or email the Rockingham JSC or drop in for a chat.
Women in Defence Industry Program scholarships
The new Women in Defence Industry scholarship program will be delivered by South Metropolitan TAFE, in partnership with industry, starting in 2021.
The scholarship will provide valuable foundation skills and meet the needs of women who are returning to work, seeking a career change or alternative pathways to further study in qualifications that relate to the defence industry. The program will be co-funded between the State Government and industry, with each party contributing $5,000 per scholarship with a commitment to co-funding 20 scholarships a year.
We will provide more information as soon as the program becomes available.
Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme
The Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme (DIVES) scholarship program will encourage veterans to take-up a career in the defence industry. The program will be delivered by Defence West, in partnership with industry, starting in 2021.
The scholarship will support defence veterans who are returning to work, seeking a career change or alternative pathways to further study in qualifications that relate to the defence industry. The program will be co-funded between the State Government and industry, with each party contributing $5,000 per scholarship with a commitment to co-funding 20 scholarships a year.
We will provide more information as soon as the program becomes available.
New short courses and skill sets for defence-related training
We will soon be announcing new training opportunities for people who would like to gain skills and knowledge to get job ready for the defence industry.
This training will include courses for youth, women, veterans and those displaced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will provide more information as soon as the new training opportunities become available.
Defence industry information and future plans
The State Government is committed to supporting Western Australia’s defence industry as a priority area to diversify the economy and create jobs. The following links provide information and outline future plans for the industry.
- The Western Australian Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan provides an overview of the defence industry in WA, and outlines future plans for its development.
- Defence West has recently published the Mission Plan 2020, which details the of the WA Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan and the next steps to reach our mission. There's also a number of useful industry videos on their website.
Occupation profiles for the defence industry
Now is a great time to consider a defence focused career! Careers available in the defence industry are vast and varied; from officers in the forces to pilots or engineers, through to ship builders and information technology specialists.
When considering career options, it's helpful to know about different occupations and the kind of work they involve. What will be a good fit with who you are and what you want for your future, and will you need new skills to get into a particular occupation or job? To help answer these questions, we have over 550 occupation profiles you can browse through — use the keyword search option below, or visit our Occupation profiles page for other search options including an A—Z list.
The impact of COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation that will impact our ability to report accurate course information and employment trends at this time. Some employment trends and course availability information provided in occupation profiles may no longer be current.
Want to study in a defence focus area?
Looking for career or training advice? We can help!
The WA State Government is committed to supporting Western Australia's defence industry, as a priority area, to diversify the State's economy and create jobs. If you're interested in working in the defence industry, your local Jobs and Skills Centre can help with free advice on career planning and training to help you get there!