The WA State Government has today released its blueprint to build a strong and sustainable defence industry workforce; leading the way with analysis, planning and investment to support the sector’s workforce and diversify the economy.
The Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27 (the Plan) is a ‘WA joint force’ approach to building defence capabilities across all five defence domains. The Plan was developed through the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Office (WADIWO). Co-signatories comprise of government agencies, Team WA universities, TAFE colleges and unions, working with the State’s defence industry and peak representative bodies.
A key focus of the Plan is boosting WA’s capability to develop a pipeline of skilled professional and paraprofessional defence industry workers, including university graduates, along with training skilled trades’ workers. The Plan’s strategic initiatives will be delivered to meet the needs of key WA defence industry stakeholders, while supporting national defence interests. It will guide the State Government’s work with the Commonwealth Government, industry and education and training sectors to support the enhancement of defence industry skills and capabilities to:
- give WA a competitive advantage;
- grow its ‘smart’ Industry 4.0 skill capabilities and the pipeline of skilled workers for defence work;
- engage with individuals, veterans, businesses and the wider public to improve access to information, defence industry careers and job opportunities; and
- provide the skills needed for the current and future defence industry workforce.
The State Government has to date invested $35 million to directly support the development of a strong and sustainable sovereign defence industry workforce — this includes the May 2022 announcement of $11 million to further build the WA defence industry's professional and paraprofessional workforce. The funding will support internship and graduate scholarships; industry grants to upskill and reskill workers; and enhancements to the articulation of courses between WA universities and TAFE.
“Through the Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022−27, my Government is taking its already significant work to support and grow Western Australia’s defence industry workforce to the next level.“ said Premier Mark McGowan. "Thanks to the commitment and shared vision of the Plan’s co-signatories, we have a solid roadmap for collaboration, and to drive our investment in the skilled defence industry workforce further. WA’s united team approach of government, industry and tertiary sectors working together will help this State continue to be a strong contender for defence projects as we continue to build the skilled and diverse workforce needed to deliver them.”
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said that “Attracting future defence work requires a workforce recognised as one of the most highly educated, qualified and skilled of its type in the world. Western Australia’s education and training system is ready to meet this challenge as evidenced by the valuable contribution of the WA universities and TAFE to the development and implementation of this Plan.”
“While the competition for skills are increasing across the nation, this Plan has the strategies to address forecast demand in the key occupations relating to WA’s defence industry over the coming decade." added Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia. “Western Australia’s growing defence industry workforce is bringing a whole range of diverse, rewarding and long-term career opportunities, including in skilled professional and para-professional roles.”