Applications are open for the State Government’s new Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarships program designed to boost the uptake of interns and graduates in Western Australia’s priority defence industry. The scholarships will place 190 interns and 50 graduates in the WA defence industry over the next three years to help ensure a pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers for the sector.
Eligible qualifications relate to occupations including engineers, project managers, logistics-related personnel, technical officers, commercial management professionals, cyber and ICT professionals, and occupations that support a ‘smart’ Industry 4.0 defence industry workforce. The State Government is investing $35 million to directly support the development of a strong and sustainable WA defence workforce. This includes funding of $4 million for the Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarships program in the 2022–2023 State Budget as part of an $11 million package to help ensure a pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers for the defence sector. A previous $18 million investment was to boost defence industry capabilities and trades workforce.
Eligible graduates and students are encouraged to apply for the scholarships offered under three sub-programs:
- ‘Taster’ Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program – six to 12 week placement for first and second year university and higher-level vocational education and training (VET) students in a defence industry-relevant qualification;
- Internship program – 10 to 26 week placement for university students or higher-level VET students who are normally in their last or second last year of study in a defence industry-related qualification; and
- Graduate program – one year graduate placement for new or previous graduates who have attained a university or higher-level VET defence industry-relevant qualification.
Generous incentives are also available for employers to take on interns and graduates, with a bonus incentive applying to interns and employers where there is participation by women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability and regional candidates.
Programmed Training Services has been contracted by the WA Government to promote, administer and manage the scholarship program and will work with defence employers, universities and VET training providers to broker and facilitate student and graduate placements and provide support services to all parties. The program complements other defence industry workforce initiatives of the State Government, including the expanded ‘The Other Force’ campaign to promote defence industry careers across all defence capability domains of maritime, air, land, space, information and cyber.
‘The Other Force – Start something’ campaign encourages school leavers, youth, veterans, women, career changers, mature age workers and skilled workers looking to change industries to “Start something” with WA’s defence industry.
More information about the scholarships and training for jobs in WA’s defence industry can be found here www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/diigs or contact your nearest Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.
Training Minister Simone McGurk says “As Western Australia continues to prepare for future defence work, the crucial importance of occupations such as engineers, project managers, logistics personnel, technicians, commercial management professionals, and cyber and ICT professionals has become apparent. The new Defence Industry Internship and Graduate Scholarships are among initiatives to expand our Government’s current support for the defence trades workforce to also develop the professional and para-professional workforce. State Government defence industry workforce initiatives are supported by our Government’s The Other Force – Start something campaign, which shines a spotlight on industries that support Australia’s Defence Force and encourages Western Australians to ‘Start something’ with WA’s defence industry.”
Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added “The State Government has identified the defence industry as a sector we can grow significantly to diversify the economy, create more jobs for Western Australians and support our sovereign capability. The Western Australian Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, released in October 2018, outlined a vision to double the contribution of the defence industries to Western Australia’s economy by 2030. The State Government’s growing list of defence industry training and workforce initiatives are encouraging more Western Australians to take up jobs in the crucial and exciting defence industry. Opportunities for a rewarding long-term career with local businesses working at the forefront of industry are endless.”