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The VET initiatives in the South Australian Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Report focus on more than just the courses students undertake – they aim to provide students with hands-on opportunities and build networks with industry early.
A Skills and Training Academy (STA) will be established to support the uplift of the industrial base for continuous naval shipbuilding and Australia’s NPS program, with the former playing a vital role in providing meaningful work and experience. The STA will deliver:
Cost – Commonwealth funded and delivered in partnership with South Australia, industry, and education and training providers.
Timing – Early activation of pilot programs commenced in 2023 to grow nuclear mindset awareness and upskill trainers from South Australia. The campus is planned to be built in South Australia by 2027–28.
Impact – In early years, the STA will deliver targeted interventions to grow and skill the shipbuilding workforce. At full operation, the South Australian campus facilities are anticipated to support up to 800–1,000 learners each year across all skill and experience levels.
Under this initiative, the Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP) will expand to South Australia, supporting 150 places over three years. The Skills and Training Academy will support delivery of the program by showcasing career pathways in naval shipbuilding and providing opportunities to participate in introductory training and experiences in the NPS program. The initiative will engage under-represented cohorts and contribute to greater diversity in the defence industry.
Cost – $12 million over three years. Commonwealth and South Australian Government co-funded and delivered.
Timing – Establishing in 2023–24 for delivery from July 2024.
Impact – 150 trainees employed and hosted over three years, prioritising the inclusion of under-represented groups in the program.
South Australia is investing $208.8 million into building five new technical colleges across the state. All technical colleges will contribute to the defence workforce, either through advanced manufacturing and engineering or through multi-trades.
Cost – $208.8 million for five technical colleges at Findon, Tonsley, The Heights, Port Augusta and Mount Gambier. South Australian Government funded and delivered.
Timing – Findon commencing 2024; Tonsley and Port Augusta commencing 2025; The Heights and Mount Gambier commencing 2026.
Impact – Approximately 200 students will commence at each college each year (across all specialisations), adding to the pipeline of skilled workers. Around 150 students will graduate each year from the three technical colleges located in metropolitan Adelaide to careers related to the advanced manufacturing and defence industries.
This initiative provides a new subsidised entry-level pathway via Certificate II in Aeroskills for school students and job seekers to help address the skills shortage in the aviation sector. The pathway has the backing of key aerospace companies and the Department of Defence. Investment in this entry-level course will grow the avionics and aircraft technical trades pipeline for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance industry partners in South Australia over the next decade to meet capability needs.
Cost – $450,000 per annum. South Australian Government funded and delivered.
Timing – Commencing in 2024 (initial one-year pilot) with opportunity to extend.
Impact – Up to 50 participants in the first year, targeting one cohort of school students and one cohort of job seekers.
In addition to the key education and training initiatives required, there are a number of supporting measures that underpin the implementation of these initiatives including, Evidence-based decision-making, Strategic communications and outreach, Skilled migration, and Security clearances.
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