New incentive to boost WA's defence industry workforce!

As Western Australia continues to prepare for current and future defence work, the importance of occupations such as engineers, technicians and cyber security and ICT professionals to this growing sector has never been clearer. WA’s defence industry workforce has received a boost, with a new initiative launched to support upskilling of workers into critical roles.

Eligible employers across the defence industry can now access the new Defence Industry Existing Worker Incentive (DIEWI), which provides financial assistance of up to $6,375 to offer existing workers the opportunity to upskill through an existing worker traineeship (EWT). The new $1.08 million program will support career progression of 120 existing workers into critical paraprofessional and professional roles, equipping them with the skills needed to meet the demands of technological advances across the industry.

Under the DIEWI, existing worker traineeships are available in three key industry qualifications:

  • Certificate IV in Cyber Security;
  • Diploma of Applied Technologies (Applied Technologies Technician); and
  • Diploma of Engineering – Technical (Engineering Draftsperson).

All three qualifications are also heavily subsidised, with course fees reduced by 72 per cent through the State Government’s successful Lower fees, local skills program, keeping training affordable and accessible across a range of in-demand occupations.

The DIEWI program is delivered by South Metropolitan TAFE, the largest defence industry training provider in the State, with the ability to customise the training to meet business needs.

For more information about DIEWI, go to

Defence industry the other force users on a computer screen

Through the Western Australian Defence and Defence Industries Strategic Plan, the WA State Government has committed to making defence a priority sector; recognising its vital importance for economic diversification and job creation. The new DIEWI is among the $11 million worth of initiatives in the 2022–23 State Budget aimed at boosting WA’s defence-ready workforce, which will help to deliver a pipeline of skilled workers for this priority sector. It also builds on the State Government's previous $18 million investment to boost WA’s defence industry capabilities and trades workforce.

Announcing the new incentive, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said “Western Australia’s world leading defence industry plays a vital role in the State’s economy and economic diversification. This new initiative will help build the skilled defence workforce required for the future, by supporting career progression of existing workers into critical roles. This is a great opportunity for WA businesses to take up this financial incentive to upskill their workers.”

"Western Australia is home to some of the world’s most innovative defence suppliers, and the Defence Industry Existing Worker Incentive will help businesses to maintain their competitive edge and strong workforces, amid technological advances across the industry.” added Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia.

Read the full media statement here