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.
New $20,000 employer incentive
The package includes $8.5 million for a new $20,000 Defence Industry Employer incentive, on top of existing financial subsidies, for shipbuilding employers to take on in-demand apprentices in readiness for a pipeline of future work.
New training initiatives for the defence industry, along with two new scholarship programs, will soon be announced.
A further $2.85 million has been allocated 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 short courses to support Western Australians to upskill and become 'defence ready'.
Equipment will be upgraded at South Metropolitan TAFE, to assist with training students in defence-related industries, including the purchase of four new computer numeric control milling and lathe machines to train metal fitters and machinists, with workshops customised to accommodate the new machines.
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; 20 scholarship opportunities per year will be available for both women and Defence veterans. The program will be co-funded between the State Government and industry, with each party contributing $5,000 per scholarship.
For further information about the defence initiatives, please visit our Defence page
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 jobseekers and potential workers. A maritime defence industries toolkit will also be developed to provide practical advice for jobseekers.