New resource to help grow Western Australia's defence workforce

The State Government has today launched a new Defence Industry VET Steps to Uni resource to help Western Australians get the skills they need to build a career in WA's defence industry.

The Steps to Uni resource will help develop articulation arrangements, which enable students to receive credits for their WA TAFE Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications when they enrol in a university degree. This reduces the length of their qualification, reducing the cost of university and getting them into jobs faster.

The $720,000 program is one of the initiatives the State Government is delivering as part its $11 million investment to help ensure WA has a strong pipeline of skilled professional and para-professional workers to meet the industry's future work demands.

People with WA TAFE VET qualifications in engineering (Diploma and Advanced Diploma) will be the first to benefit from the Steps to Uni resource, which is now available on the Jobs and Skills WA website.

There have been almost 700 students enrolled in Diploma and Advanced Diploma engineering qualifications through WA TAFE colleges in 2023.

Engineering is the largest of the six study areas to be catalogued, with 55 existing pathways between WA TAFE colleges and universities included in the Steps to Uni resource. Through the first stage of the project, seven new articulation arrangements have been developed.

The Steps to Uni project has been developed thanks to significant collaboration between WA TAFE colleges and Team WA universities (Curtin University, University of Western Australia, Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University) through the WA Defence Industry VET University Articulation program.

The $11 million defence industry workforce package builds on the $18 million investment to boost the defence manufacturing workforce and build capacity to secure future defence work.

To access the Steps to Uni resource and learn more about training, jobs and careers in WA's defence industry visit or contact the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64 or 9599 8655.

Training Minister Simone McGurk said, "The Cook Government is investing in initiatives to ensure Western Australia has a skilled defence industry workforce to attract major defence projects to the State. The project led by South Metropolitan TAFE is an excellent example of collaboration between WA TAFE colleges and Team WA universities to help students, while also meeting the broader industry's demands for a skilled, professional workforce. Skilled engineers are in high demand by the WA defence industry, particularly systems, software, mechanical and mechatronic engineering skills. The expansion in articulation arrangements helps students fast-track to a university degree and a career in the defence industry."

Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia added, "WA's defence industry is growing and needs skilled workers across the five capability domains of information and cyber, maritime, air, space, and land. The defence industry has fantastic career opportunities, no matter what you're interested in, or what stage you're at in your career. This Defence Industry VET Steps to Uni resource gives people a simple and easy way to plan their pathway to a university qualification. I encourage anyone with WA TAFE VET engineering qualifications, keen to build a career as a professional in the defence industry, to use the VET Steps to Uni resource to map out their study pathway."