Defence industry opportunities for career changers

Ready for a career change  or a new challenge? Move into an exciting industry at the forefront of technology, and start something with Western Australia's defence industry! Our defence industry is recognised as one of the most highly educated, qualified and skilled of its type in the world. It's already estimated to contribute over $3 billion a year to WA's economy, and that's set to double within the next decade.

The opportunities offered by the defence industry are many and varied — it's estimated that an additional 1,100 skilled workers are required by 2027 across all defence domains, including in regional areas of WA.

People from all backgrounds are enjoying exciting new careers and the kind of work that's unique to our defence industry — from trades and specialist occupations through to paraprofessional and professional roles across Perth and throughout regional WA — with excellent prospects for career development. 

Your transferrable skills and experience will be valued by employers, and we have a range of programs and support available to help you make that career change.

A whole new world of opportunities is waiting for you!

Free advice about training, jobs and careers

A specialist defence industry team is available at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre (JSC). They can help with information about training, support to help with your job search or career change, and offer advice about career planning options to find a fit for your career change.

All services at the Rockingham JSC, and at all other JSCs across WA, are free and available to anyone. 

Find out more about how they can help

 

Start something with WA's defence industry.

WA's defence industry needs skilled workers to meet future requirements and prepare for major projects happening now, and up to and beyond the next 20 years.

From trades through to paraprofessional, professional and specialist roles — whatever you're into, and whatever stage you're at, there really is something for everyone. 

The following general information about WA's defence industry and the opportunities it offers is available on our main Defence page.
 

A career change to the defence industry has so much to offer! Here's just a few reasons why you should start something with WA's defence industry...

  • An exciting career at the forefront of industry
  • Working with innovative new technologies
  • Being part of WA's future success in major defence projects
  • A range of trade, paraprofessional, professional and specialist jobs
  • A range of work on interesting and challenging projects
  • Your skills and experience will be valued
  • Ongoing opportunities for learning and skills development 
  • Career progression opportunities into leadership roles

Training and education

Options and pathways

When it comes to starting something with WA's defence industry as a career changer;  your skills, knowledge and experience can really give you the edge. Whether you have already decided on the type of work you want to focus on for your career change, or you're just browsing to find a fit, there's a range of vocational education and training (VET) and university courses available if you need to build or further develop your skills and knowledge. And there's never been a better time to get into training, with over 100 courses FREE IN '23, and course fees reduced by half price or more on a range of qualifications through Lower fees, local skills

Training for the defence industry

There's a vocational education and training (VET) course or qualification for almost every job in the defence industry — from trades and technical work through to project manager roles, and everything in between!

Existing worker traineeships

Existing worker traineeships (EWTs) are qualifications delivered through on the job learning, designed to upskill people already working in a particular industry. They are an excellent way to build or develop new skills and knowledge, and a great option for career changers who are already working in the defence industry but want to change direction into a different field or domain of work. 

EWTs are available in a range of study areas, including many that are relevant to the defence industry — in particular for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector including Cyber Security, some with course fees currently reduced by 72 per cent through the Lower fees, local skills program. If you think this could be an option to support your career change, have a chat with your manager!

Pre-apprenticeships and traineeships

A pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeships is a Certificate II program that includes a work placement component, coordinated by your TAFE or training provider. You will get industry specific training, combined with hands on experience in a real workplace, to gain valuable industry skills and knowledge that will prepare you for employment and make you more competitive when applying for jobs or an apprenticeship or traineeship. It also gives you an opportunity to find out whether a particular industry or type of work is right for you.

Do I have to do a pre-apprenticeship/traineeship to get an apprenticeship/traineeship?
No, there is no requirement to have completed a pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship before starting an apprenticeship or traineeship. However, if you do go on to a full apprenticeship or traineeship you may receive credit for the units you have completed, which could shorten the time it takes to complete a full traineeship or apprenticeship.

There are many pre-apprenticeship courses​ on offer at TAFE colleges and training providers, in a range of study areas related to the defence industry. Course fees do apply, but right now there's a range of pre-apprenticeships with half price course fees with some pre-apprenticeships and pre-traineeships under $200, through the Skills Ready Lower fees, local skills program.

Take a look at our defence industry course list to see what pre-traineeships are available with reduced course fees (select the 'half price' icon), or browse the full Jobs and Skills WA course list here.  

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Apprenticeships and traineeships

While the defence industry does offer some jobs that don't require a trade or qualification, and for some you can do a course to learn the skills needed or work your way up to specialist roles through on the job experience, some types of work require specialist skills and knowledge or you'll need to be trades qualified — these jobs are typically offered through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

If you're thinking apprenticeships and traineeships are just for "young people" — that's not the case! Many employers specifically look for mature aged and experienced people when seeking to employ an apprentice or trainee, and there's even financial incentives available to encourage them to do that. 

Apprenticeships and traineeships are an excellent way to combine training with work, enabling you to have a job — earn while you learn — as you complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. They are available to anyone of working age — you can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce, or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. When you finish your apprenticeship or traineeship you will have a nationally recognised qualification and, where relevant, a trade certificate. 

Apprenticeships typically take two to four years to complete and traditionally cover skilled trade areas such as automotive, engineering, electrotechnology, and building and construction. An apprenticeship is a structured program with a combination of on the job training, where you gain hands-on skills and knowledge, and off the job training at a TAFE or training provider. Your off the job training may be scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis (eg; one day per fortnight), or as a block release across the year — for example; you might work full time for six weeks and then do a two-week block of training. Upon successful completion, apprentices become a qualified tradesperson.

Traineeships can take between one to two years to complete and offer a broad range of vocational and occupational choices — anything from business and finance, human resources, multimedia and information technology, through to sport and fitness, agriculture, hospitality and civil engineering. A traineeship is a structured program with a combination of on the job training where you gain hands-on skills and knowledge, and off the job training at a TAFE or training provider. Your off the job training may be scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis (eg; one day per fortnight), or as a block release across the year — for example; you might work full time for six weeks and then do a two-week block of training. Upon successful completion, trainees receive a nationally recognised qualification in their chosen vocational area.

Take a look at our defence industry course list to see what apprenticeships and traineeships are available, including some with half price course fees (select the 'half price' icon), or browse the full Jobs and Skills WA course list here.  

To do an apprenticeship or traineeship, you must be employed. So how do you find an employer?

  • You can go out and find an employer yourself, by searching for advertised jobs or contacting a company directly. Many of the larger employers in the defence industry run regular recruitment programs for apprenticeships and traineeships — check How do I get a job in the defence industry?  for more information to help you with this. 
  • There are a number of Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers in WA that are funded by the Australian Government to provide advice and assistance to help you find an apprenticeship or traineeship and organise everything to get you started. 

You can find out more on our Apprenticeships and traineeships page here, or call your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 for free information and advice. 

There's also some great information on the Australian Apprenticeships website about finding an apprenticeship or traineeship, including some useful tips for how to approach employers.

Group training organisations

Another option is to find an apprenticeship or traineeship through a group training organisation (GTO). 

GTOs employ apprentices and trainees across a range of different industries. You are directly employed by the GTO, but they 'host' you out to an employer for work. This can be a great option as you may have the opportunity to work with more than one employer during your apprenticeship or traineeship — giving you a wider range of experience. GTOs are experts in hiring apprentices and trainees, and are regulated to make sure they are doing the right thing by their employees.

Step 1: Register with a GTO
You can look through our list of WA GTOs here, and check their information to find what industry/sector and/or type of apprenticeship or traineeship they specialise in. The next step is to register with the GTO (you can register with as many as you like) so that they have your details if a suitable vacancy arises.

Step 2: Recruitment process
You will have an initial interview with the GTO, so that they can find out more about the type of apprenticeship or traineeship you're looking for and discuss options. If you are suitable, the GTO will either offer you an apprenticeship or traineeship or let you know when one becomes available.

When you start your apprenticeship or traineeship, your GTO will help you prepare to meet your host employer. They will also provide any pre-employment training that's required; such as workplace health and safety, and the basic personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the role. 

After you start your apprenticeship or traineeship, the GTO will assign you a field officer who will be your direct contact point if there's any issues or if you have any queries about your apprenticeship or traineeship. Your field officer will also monitor your training and work, and check in to make sure that everything is going smoothly.

All aspects of your apprenticeship or traineeship through a GTO are the same as any other apprenticeship or traineeship — it's really only the actual employment arrangements that are different; ie you are employed and paid by the GTO rather than by the company where you're doing the apprenticeship or traineeship. 

Transferrable skills

As a career changer; you already have skills, knowledge and experience to offer an employer. The key is to look at how your skills are transferrable from one career to another, or from your previous industry to the defence industry. And it's not just the skills and experience from your previous working life; but from all of your life, work, learning and leisure activities and experiences... your life experience. These are also all transferrable skills that employers are looking for, and they are an important part of the "picture of you". 

It's worth taking the time to really think about the skills that you have, and how they would be transferrable to a career change into the defence industry. To help get you take stock of your skills and life experience, the following resources may be useful.

Template: Recognising skills and abilities Identify the skills and abilities that you already have
Checklist: Personal and transferable skills Identify your transferrable skills
Fact sheet: Employability skills Discover what skills you already have that are important to most employers
Fact sheet: Changing your career Use this to help guide you towards a career that suits you
Template: Your action plan Get started on your own career action plan and start setting goals for your future

 You can find these resources here
 

WA TAFE colleges 

Whilst all TAFE colleges across WA offer courses that align with defence industry careers, including specialist fields such as cyber security, South Metropolitan TAFE has over 20 years' experience working with the defence industry. 

They specialise in training for a range of occupations including structural steel and fabrication / welding, information and communications technology, metal fitter and machinists, and electricians and also provide training in a range of apprenticeships and traineeships for WA's defence industry.

SMTAFE's Naval Base campus, located alongside the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, has recently had a $2.4 million redevelopment and offers the very latest technology and equipment with a focus on engineering, fabrication and maritime (including ship building) courses.

Find out more about defence training at SMTAFE

Defence staff in cyber security room

WA universities

If you’re looking for career opportunities in a professional occupation in the defence industry — for example;  engineering or computer science — gaining a university qualification is the first step.   WA's universities and defence industry are working together to ensure that the qualifications available at our universities will provide Western Australia with defence ready graduates, ready to step into these important fields within the industry.  

Browse the following WA university websites to see what they have to offer for defence industry training and education.
 


You can also visit Defence West's  Defence Capability Directory to read more about the key areas of defence industry focus for each of the universities.

jtsi.wa.gov.au/economic-development/defence-west/wa's-defence-capability (select the Academic Institutions tab).  

Teaming up for defence education

WA's four top-ranked universities — Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, Murdoch University and The University of WA — are collaborating together as "Team WA" to offer specialised research and education programs to support the current and future needs of our defence sector.

All four universities have programs in areas such as engineering that relate directly to defence, but each one also offers highly specialised research and education programs in a range of areas including drone technology and artificial intelligence, maritime and undersea operations, super computing,  remote and autonomous operations, and planetary science.  

Read the full story by Kristian Constantinides (source:  Business News)

Defence industry courses

The course listed below are all specifically related to jobs in WA's defence industry, but there are many other courses across a range of industry and/or study areas that align with defence industry occupations.  To expand your course search into other industries, use the search filters. 

There's never been a better time to get into training — we have over 100 courses that are FREE IN '23, plus a wide range of qualifications with course fees reduced by half or more, with an annual fees cap!*
 

  • Select from the filters under Skills Ready if you would like to search for free or reduced-fee courses
  • If you're looking for something specific, remove the industry filter and enter one or more keywords such as "welding" or ''submarine"
  • To find out more about a course, select its title. You can also add courses to a favourites list, to save them for later
Displaying 1 - 10 of 33 courses
Favourites

    Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology - Electrical

    National ID : UEE62111 | State ID : A175

    Charge up your career in electrical engineering!

    This qualification gives you the skills for the implementation of smart homes (Internet of Things), automated industrial production line mechatronics, administering or upgrading infrastructure for small to large scale businesses among many other innovative applications.

    Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology - Electrical

    National ID : UEE62120 | State ID : BFN8

    Charge up your career in electrical engineering — FREE IN '23!

    This qualification gives you the skills for the implementation of smart homes (Internet of Things), automated industrial production line mechatronics, administering or upgrading infrastructure for small to large scale businesses among many other innovative applications.

    Advanced Diploma of Engineering [Mechatronics]

    National ID : MEM60112 | State ID : WB92

    Construct a career in mechatronics

    The Advanced Diploma of Engineering (Mechatronics) offers high level technical and practical skills and knowledge in electrical machinery, mechanical principles and mechanical equipment. You'll learn a range of computer aided drafting (CAD) skills, how to produce drawings for design specifications and how to interpret and create drawings components for the manufacture of equipment.

    Advanced Diploma of Information Technology

    National ID : ICT60220 | State ID : BGJ5

    Level up your career in the world of technology!

    If you're seeking a leadership role in information technology, or need some high level skills and knowledge for a specialist project or career move, the Advanced Diploma of Information Technology is for you!

    Advanced Diploma of Network Security (Cyber Security)

    National ID : ICT60215 | State ID : AB51

    Get a secure role in a growth industry

    Be part of Australia's strong cyber defences with this Advanced Diploma of Network Security (Cyber Security) - it will give you the tools you need.

    Certificate II in Engineering (Heavy Fabrication Pre-Apprenticeship)

    National ID : MEM20105 | State ID : AA50

    Ready to fire up an exciting fabrication career?

    Heavy fabrication is the perfect job for anyone who enjoys working with big machinery and equipment, and this is the perfect course to get you started in entry level work or to give you a head start on an apprenticeship. 

    Certificate II in Engineering (Mechanical Fitter and Machinist Pre-Apprenticeship)

    National ID : MEM20105 | State ID : AA49

    Get a head start on your engineering apprenticeship!

    The world of engineering offers many fantastic career opportunities, and skilled mechanical fitters and machinists are always in high demand!

    Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways

    National ID : 52864WA | State ID : BGQ62

    Get set for an exciting career in WA's defence industry! FREE IN '23!

    If you're keen to get started on an exciting career in WA's defence industry, this is the qualification for you! 

    Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician

    National ID : UEE30820 | State ID : BFN0

    A career choice for bright sparks

    Are you looking to start an electrical apprenticeship? This trade-level qualification is the course for you.

    Certificate III in Engineering - Composites Trade

    National ID : MEM31119 | State ID : BEK4

    Kick start your composites trade career!

    This qualification covers the skills and knowledge required by a tradesperson working with composites within the aerospace, civil construction, general manufacturing, marine, vehicle, metal, engineering, manufacturing and associated industries.

    Displaying 1 - 10 of 33 courses

    Short course skill sets for upskilling

    Are you...

    • a qualified tradesperson or technician with experience in fabrication, engineering or manufacturing who would like to get up to code for working in the defence industry?
    • already working in the defence industry, and would like to skill up for a new project or upgrade your certifications?
    • a qualified fabricator or engineering tradesperson within the defence industry who's keen to progress to a supervisory role?

    If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, take a look at these new short course skill sets! They have been developed in consultation with businesses and employers to deliver fast track training to upskill — specifically for existing tradespeople — whether you need to upgrade to meet defence industry code specifications, upskill to work on a new project, develop your skills and knowledge to move into a supervising role, or learn new technologies or processes for different types of operations — a skill set is the way to go. 

    Because all of these skill sets are made up of units of competency from nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualifications, you will receive credit for them if you choose to go on to further study.  And best of all... to support our defence industry workforce here in WA, the course fees for these skill sets have been reduced by half (and capped)* — so take a look and see if there's something here for you.

    CNC Operations

    The CNC Operations skill set is for qualified/experienced tradespersons employed in engineering production or manufacturing. It has been developed specifically to suit the role of an engineering supervisor in the defence industry; for example those working on projects such as ship or aircraft building or the maintenance of military vehicles.

    This skill set will provide certified engineering and manufacturing tradespersons with specialist skills in the operation, programming and set up of CNC machinery. You will gain the practical skills and knowledge to analyse and inspect components, edit CNC programs, and apply workplace health and safety.

    For further information, including prerequisites for this skill set and further study options, please download this information flyer

    For details of course availability, please refer to the defence industry course list 

    Coded Welding Flux Cored Arc

    The Coded Welding Flux Cored Arc skill set covers preparing and producing welds to code standards using flux cored arc welding. It has been developed specifically to suit the role of a welding supervisor in the defence industry; for example those working on projects such as ship or aircraft building or the maintenance of military vehicles.

    It will provide existing workers with the skills to be able to weld to the requirements of AS1796 and obtain Certification no. 8F from Weld Australia. You will also gain knowledge and skills on health and safety with welding, setting and maintaining welding parameters, fillet welds, and butt welds on plate at various positions. Preparing and setting up of pipe components and pipe welds within this course are performed by using weld rotators.

    For further information, including prerequisites for this skill set and further study options, please download this information flyer

    For details of course availability, please refer to the defence industry course list 

    Coded Welding Gas Tungsten Arc

    The Coded Welding Gas Tungsten Arc skill set covers preparing and producing welds to code standards using gas tungsten arc welding. It has been developed specifically to suit the role of a welder in the defence industry; for example those working on projects such as ship or aircraft building or the maintenance of military vehicles.

    It will provide existing workers with the skills to be able to weld to the requirements of AS1796 and obtain Certificate no. 7 from Weld Australia. You will also gain knowledge and skills on health and safety with welding, setting and maintaining welding parameters, as well as welding in the 2G and 5G weld positions.

    For further information, including prerequisites for this skill set and further study options, please download this information flyer

    For details of course availability, please refer to the defence industry course list 

    Coded Welding Manual Metal Arc Welding (Pipe)

    The Coded Welding Manual Metal Arc Welding (Pipe) skill set will provide existing workers with the skills to weld to the requirements of AS1796 and obtain Certification no. 4 from Weld Australia. It has been developed specifically to suit the defence industry; for example those working on projects such as ship or aircraft building or the maintenance of military vehicles.

    This skill set defines the skills and knowledge required for an existing engineering tradesperson who chooses to study at a higher level within metal, engineering, manufacturing and associated occupations in the defence industry. You will also gain knowledge and skills on health and safety with welding, setting and maintaining welding parameters, as well as welding in the 2G and 5G weld positions

    For further information, including prerequisites for this skill set and further study options, please download this information flyer

    For details of course availability, please refer to the defence industry course list 

    Fluid Power

    The Fluid Power skill set defines the skills and knowledge required for employment as a Higher Engineering Tradesperson or a Special Class Engineering Tradesperson (Mechanical) within metals, engineering, manufacturing and associated occupations, or at equivalent levels in other industries where engineering tradespersons work. It has been developed specifically to suit the role of a welding supervisor in the defence industry; for example those working on projects such as ship or aircraft building or the maintenance of military vehicles.

    This skill set will provide existing workers with specialist skills in hydraulic systems, suitable for careers as a hydraulic fitter/technician or hydraulic systems designer. You will gain the practical skills and knowledge to analyse, inspect and maintain hydraulic and pneumatic systems; maintain fluid power controls; monitor/inspect equipment condition; tube bending and fitting; understanding logic systems; and workplace health and safety.

    For further information, including prerequisites for this skill set and further study options, please download this information flyer

    For details of course availability, please refer to the defence industry course list 

    Welding Supervisor

    The Welding Supervisor skill set is for existing engineering tradespersons who wish to progress to the supervision of welding processes and outcomes. It has been developed specifically to suit the role of a welding supervisor in the defence industry; for example those working on projects such as ship or aircraft building or the maintenance of military vehicles.

    This skill set will provide you with the skills to be able to write complex reports, inspect and interpret code requirements and diagnose faults. You’ll also learn how to prepare and formalise welding processes and procedures, monitor weld production, inspect welds and align weld testing as per code requirements, document and record information, and write detailed reports.

    For further information, including prerequisites for this skill set and further study options, please download this information flyer

    For details of course availability, please refer to the defence industry course list 

    *Eligibility conditions apply for reduced-fee qualifications, the annual fees cap, and free training. Please visit our Skills Ready page for full details.

    Getting a job in the defence industry

    Now is a great time to consider a career change and start something with WA's defence industry! Jobs and occupations are vast and varied. To help with your decision making, here's some key points to consider. 

    What kind of job do you want?

    With such a range of jobs available in the defence industry, from trades through to paraprofessional and professional as well as specialist areas; the first step is to decide what kind of work you would like to do. It would also be useful to consider whether you're keen on getting into a particular field within the industry, as the work environments can be very different — for example, do you like the idea of working in a trade such as welding or fabrication, or a technical specialty such as information technology or cyber security? Do you enjoy project management, or leading a team? 

    The following websites may be useful.

    Ready for the job search?

    Because WA's Defence Industry is rapidly growing, the demand for skilled workers has never been higher! Most job opportunities are advertised online — here's some places to start your search.
     

    There's also some companies who specialise in recruitment for the defence industry. We recommend doing an internet search to find out more about what services they offer for jobseekers. And if you're on social media, there's several groups on Facebook and Instagram that regularly post job opportunities — do a search to find them. 

    Top tip: Sometimes the best approach is a direct one — most of the major defence industry companies operating in WA advertise job opportunities on their website, and/or their social media pages. Make a list of the companies you're interested in, and do an internet search to find them. Or check the WA Industry and Defence Network members directory here, for a helpful list. 

    Occupation profiles

    Now is a great time to consider a career in WA's defence industry! Jobs and occupations are vast and varied — everything from trades areas such as welders, fitters and machinists, shipbuilders, mechanical fitters/pipe fitters, refrigeration and airconditioning technicians, boilermakers, mechanical engineers, marine fabricators, and electricians through to paraprofessional and professional roles such as engineers, information technology specialists, project managers, and cyber security professionals. 

    What will be a good fit with who you are, and what you want for your future? Will you need new skills to get into a particular occupation or job? To help answer these questions, we have a collection of occupation profiles you can browse through — these profiles are not defence industry specific, the information provided is of a general nature, but you can use the keyword search or look through the A—Z list to find occupations that are available in WA's defence industry.

     View the occupation profiles

    Information and support

    If you would like some tips and guidance to help make that career change or find that new job, please visit the Get that job! section of our website where you'll find a range of useful information and support.

    You can also get free advice, information and support on changing careers and jobseeking from Jobs and Skills Centres, including our specialist defence industry centre at Rockingham.

    Find out more 

    Career change stories

    From sports to ships!

    In this short video, you'll hear Mark's career change story. After completing a sports science degree at university, Mark set off on his plan to pursue that as his future career. However; he quickly realised his career  aspirations didn't align with the opportunities available, and started thinking about a career change.

    A stint in his family's business showcased the opportunities that the defence industry offered, and Mark was sold! He completed a Diploma of Project Management, which led him to a role at CIVMEC, one of WA's leading defence industry employers, where he now manages the offshore patrol vessel building contract for the Australian Navy.  Mark is loving being part of WA's defence industry — it's been a very successful career change! 

    Read more about Mark's career change, and his training pathway into project management, here

    From animal care to an apprenticeship!

    After high school, Chloe studied veterinary nursing and then worked at Bunnings for four years until she felt that she needed a career change. She enjoys hands on work, and wanted a career with a future, so she investigated opportunities in the defence industry.

    Chloe was offered a cabinetmaking apprenticeship at a shipbuilding company that designs and build ships for the Australian Defence Force. She's now working on the fit out for the Cape Class patrol boats, working on everything inside the ships from floor to ceiling — even building and installing all the furniture including bunk beds and cabinets. She gets a great sense of pride when a big project is finished.

    Read more about Chloe's career change, and her pathway into a trade, here

    Start something with WA's defence industry.

    Opportunities for Aboriginal people

    Many defence industry employers have programs such as apprenticeships and traineeships for Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples, and offer fantastic opportunities for career changers to enter the industry and achieve a trade, paraprofessional or professional qualification. 

    In this short video, you'll hear from Blaine and Alex who have both gone through a change in direction for their career but are now doing an electrical apprenticeship, and are very happy with their decision to join WA's defence industry.     

    They are both very excited about their new career direction, and the opportunities ahead for a fantastic career in defence.


    Free career advice for Aboriginal people is available at your local Jobs and Skills Centre  

    Scholarships and special programs

    To help create even more opportunities to start something with WA's defence industry, a range of scholarships and specialist programs are available. You may be able to access free training to upskill or re-skill for a career change, and have the opportunity to explore a new future! Read on to find out more. 

    Defence Industry Pathways Program

    This exciting program, developed in partnership with WA's maritime defence industry and South Metropolitan TAFE , is perfect for career changers. It's designed as a "taster" covering a range of areas — including cyber security, logistics, engineering, and technical — to help you decide on a pathway to an exciting defence industry career. Course fees are fully subsidised, with no cost at all to participants.

    The Defence Industry Pathways Program offers a fully funded, 12-month paid traineeship — this includes paid annual leave, personal leave and superannuation paid during the period of the traineeship. The Commonwealth Government is contributing almost $45,000 per trainee to fund wages and uniform including safety footwear.

    The program includes mentoring and on the job training with some of WA's leading defence industry employers, as well as on-campus training at TAFE for a nationally recognised qualification.

    Jobs and Skills WA: Defence Industry Pathways Program

    Women in Defence Industry scholarship program 

    Applications are now open for 2023! The Women in Defence Industry scholarship program is delivered by South Metropolitan TAFE, in partnership with industry. The program offers two qualifications, achieved over six months; the Certificate II in Electronics, and the Certificate III in Engineering — Technical, which can open up a range of job and career opportunities in the defence industry.  

    The scholarship will provide valuable skills for women who have just finished school, are returning to work, or seeking a career change; with the scholarship to a value of $5,000 for training. For full details please visit South Metropolitan TAFE's website via the link below, or download the information flyer.

    This short video features Kate, who decided on a career change from bookkeeping into WA's defence industry! Not only has the Women in Defence Industry scholarship program given Kate a whole new range of skills, but it's also helped her to realise her own potential and find a new excitement for her future.

    Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme

    The Defence Industry Veterans Employment Scheme (DIVES) scholarship program is part of the WA State Government's investment to boost defence industry capabilities and ensure a pipeline of skilled professional, paraprofessional and specialist trades workers.

    DIVES provides scholarships of up to $5,000 each to cover the cost of training for eligible veterans — ex-serving ADF members, ADF members in active or inactive reserve forces, or current ADF serving members about to transition/separate within three to six months — for defence industry occupations with current demand.

    Visit our ADF Veterans page for further information

    TAFE college scholarships

    WA's TAFE colleges offer a range of scholarships to assist with the cost of training, and offer opportunities for career changers to upskill or reskill.

    Please visit the TAFE websites and search for 'scholarship' to see what's currently available.
     

    Looking for career or training advice? We can help!

    A dedicated defence industry team is available at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre, with specialist experience. They can help you decide on the best options for your career change — including support and advice about training,  job seeking and career planning — to start something with WA's defence industry. They can even assist with applying for jobs.

    There's also other JSCs located across Perth and regional WA who offer general advice and support about training, careers and jobs. 

    All JSC services are completely free of charge.

    Contact the specialist defence industry team at the Rockingham JSC, or drop in for a chat.

    P: 08 9599 8655
    E: defence.careers@smtafe.wa.edu.au

    South Metropolitan TAFE Rockingham campus
    Simpson Avenue Rockingham (Building G)

    To contact the other Jobs and Skills Centres across WA, follow the link below to find your local centre or call the number below to reach your nearest JSC.