Building WA's defence industry workforce

Premier Mark McGowan and Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery today launched ‘The other force’ — a new campaign to raise awareness of the job opportunities and career pathways available in Western Australia’s defence industry. The campaign aims to inspire women, veterans, young people, jobseekers and career changers to take advantage of the job opportunities created by the State Government’s $18.34 million maritime defence industry workforce package.

Promoting the diverse, exciting and secure jobs offered by the defence industry is an important part of the State Government’s work to build the skilled workforce needed to support upcoming defence projects and secure future defence work, expected to be valued at up to $75 billion nationally over the next decade.

Speaking at today's launch, the Premier said "This campaign builds on our efforts to strengthen WA’s defence workforce through the $18.34 million workforce package as part of the WA Recovery Plan. We are supercharging WA's defence manufacturing industry to create vital employment and training opportunities for Western Australians. There’s never been a better time for Western Australians to embark on a rewarding long term career in the defence industry.”

The campaign is complemented by the establishment of five new defence industry skill sets, which will contribute to a 'defence ready' workforce to bolster WA’s defence industry and support maritime defence contracts. The new $3.3 million package was developed in consultation with industry to meet industry skill demand, and courses are available through South Metropolitan TAFE. The campaign and new skill sets were presented to an industry forum held with key employers and stakeholders including Austal, Civmec, ASC West, Defence Primes, BAE Systems, Henderson Alliance, Naval Ship Management and the Naval Shipbuilding College.

Matilda Hobbins, third year South Metropolitan TAFE marine fabrication apprentice, stars in the advertising campaign and encourages others to embark on a rewarding career in defence manufacturing. Employed as a marine fabricator at Austal, the 25 year old says she has been well supported as a woman in a male-dominated industry and there is nothing like working with your hands and seeing your individual contribution come together to build a ship. 

In addition to the five new skill sets, the campaign will also highlight several other initiatives including:

  • $8.5 million for incentives of $20,000 for defence manufacturing industry employers to train apprentices in key trades;
  • $2.85 million to train an additional 335 apprenticeships in nominated trades; 
  • investment in training scholarships for women and defence veterans; and
  • defence industry training facilities upgrades at South Metropolitan TAFE.

For further information about these initiatives, please visit our defence industry page at jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence

“A job in defence means a diverse, rewarding and long-term career." said Minister Ellery. "It’s important to shine a light on the opportunities the defence industry offers and provide affordable and high quality training options for blue, grey and white collar workers to get Western Australians there. South Metropolitan TAFE has a long established relationship with the defence industry and expertise in defence-related training so Western Australians will be trained to industry-standard to take up the job opportunities available."

Read the full media statement here

Working in defence.
Working in defence.
Working in defence.
Working in defence.
Working in defence.
Working in defence.
Working in defence.
Working in defence.