An extra 1,500 Australians will be trained up for jobs in the nation’s booming defence manufacturing and technology industry, as part of a $108.5 million commitment from a re-elected Morrison Government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government’s $270 billion investment in Australia’s defence capabilities to 2030 was underpinned by a commitment to grow the local industry workforce including through the new Defence Industry Pathways Program that would help school leavers get the skills they needed for defence industry jobs.

The Prime Minister said the commitment would expand the Program beyond its pilot to 14 regions across the country and train up an extra 1,500 workers with a nationally accredited Certificate III – Defence Industry Pathways.

“Our investment in building the capabilities of Australia’s defence force is about keeping our country strong and secure and backing local skills and jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“Australia has a record 220,000 people in trades training but as our defence investments grow, so does the demand for skilled Australians to move into the industry.

“A strong pipeline of workers will make our $270 billion defence investment into the equipment and capabilities Australia needs.

“The skills and knowledge this program will give to graduates will set them up for a career in defence equipment manufacturing technology, and set them up for life.

“My Government’s $270 billion investment in defence capability will boost Australia’s strong economy and help deliver a stronger future not just for the industry, but the thousands of workers it employs.”

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said competition for skilled workers in defence industries was on the rise.

“We need to meet the growing needs of our defence industry workforce by skilling up new workers and new generations,” Minister Price said.

“This is taking a pilot at Henderson in WA and exporting it right across the country so more people get the skills they need for the jobs our Government is helping to create.

“More than 50 defence industry businesses have registered to host and mentor the 120 trainees already participating at Henderson and with more investment in defence industry there’s huge demand for the skills this program will deliver.

“By training an extra 1,500 workers with on-the-job experience we know these graduates will be ready to walk into the workplace.”

Students will be trained up with practical experience in technical trades like welding and electric, as well as skills in engineering, project management and logistics, cyber security, and computer-aided design.

Industry placements are a key element in the delivery of the program, with more than 50 ‘major prime’ and small businesses alike committing approximately 170,000 hours of supervisory oversight for the current 120 trainees using their commercial premises, facilities and equipment. Despite the first of the trainees being only half way through their traineeships, many of the trainees have entered into discussions on longer term employment with their host industry partners.

The Government will work closely with defence industry and training organisations to roll out the program, particularly in regions offering defence industry growth and jobs. These include:

  • Newcastle and the Hunter region (aerospace)
  • Sydney and surrounds (maritime and aerospace)
  • Cairns (maritime)
  • Townsville (land and aerospace)
  • Brisbane and surrounds (land and aerospace)
  • Darwin and surrounds (maritime, aerospace and land)
  • Perth and surrounds (maritime, aerospace and explosive ordnance)
  • Adelaide (maritime, aerospace and land)
  • Bendigo (land)
  • Benalla and Mulwala (explosive ordnance)
  • Melbourne and surrounds (maritime)
  • Geelong and surrounds (land)
  • East Sale (aerospace)
  • Hobart and Launceston (maritime)

Only the Morrison Government can be trusted to deliver the investments Australian defence needs after Labor slashed defence spending to its lowest level since WWII.

Read more about our plan for Growing Our Sovereign Defence Industry