Supplying industries with a skilled workforce
Growing and retaining South Australia’s population and building a skilled workforce will be critical to our goal to become a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive state.
South Australia is faced with the dual challenge of meeting existing skills shortages across a range of industries and sectors, while adapting to meet the skills needs of emerging industries and technologies that are transforming the state’s economy.
The Department for Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) supports industry to attract and retain the workforce it needs through workforce planning, workforce development, skilled migration, and building industry’s capability to develop their workforce. We also develop workforce strategies, roadmaps and projects to identify and address current and future workforce challenges.
South Australia's opportunity
The trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) will present significant opportunities for South Australia as we prepare to construct nuclear-powered submarines at Adelaide’s Osborne naval shipyard.
This major project has the potential to transform and expand South Australia’s economy, demanding a level of skills and technological development far exceeding any major project in the state’s history. The benefits will flow on to supply chains, reaching throughout all sectors of our economy.
Other key sectors that will be part of South Australia’s economic transformation include renewable energy and hydrogen, defence and space, advanced manufacturing, and enabling capabilities such as artificial intelligence, automation, photonics, quantum and digital technologies, and cyber security.
Combined with the urgent need to decarbonise across all industry sectors, South Australia needs a highly skilled workforce with a higher level of educational qualifications.
Jobs in defence
Building a skilled defence workforce
The AUKUS deal will require a massive increase in the skills and volume of South Australia’s defence workforce.
The South Australian Government is partnering with the defence industry and the Australian Government to ensure local defence projects will have a highly skilled workforce to draw upon and the state fulfils its mission to become a stable and secure partner of choice.
A partnership between the South Australian and Australian governments, the Skills and Training Academy is designed to deliver tailored education, training and skilling for Australia’s submarine and naval shipbuilding workforce, including:
- career training programs to bring new people into the workforce, such as apprentices, undergraduates and graduate apprentices
- lifting the skills of the existing naval shipbuilding workforce
- transition programs to support individuals with engineering, manufacturing and other relevant skills to enter the defence sector.
The Academy will be responsive, connected to and informed by industry – a space for training and knowledge sharing with state-of-the-art technology, real world training opportunities, and a flexible curriculum approach.
The South Australian Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Taskforce was established as an outcome of the Jobs and Skills Summit to develop and implement a skills and workforce plan for the South Australian defence industry.
The Taskforce aims to support current and future defence projects and identifies actions and interventions to:
- understand the specific skills, occupations and volumes required in the workforce
- improve awareness, attraction, inclusion and diversity in the industry
- identify education and skills reforms to build the required workforce
- enable workforce pipeline and transition, including early and mid-career transition
- improve workforce productivity and innovation.
It will also ensure targeted skills and training investment to address priority roles and support transition of skilled workers from other sectors into the defence industry.
The Taskforce is engaging with representatives from industry, education, unions and businesses to identify gaps and opportunities, test potential actions, and gain valuable insights on the significant requirements of the nation’s defence projects pipeline.
DIIS has provided $450,000 over three years to the University of South Australia to establish and implement a software degree apprenticeship for the defence industry, with the first cohort of students to commence in 2024.
DIIS is supporting the Manufacturing Growth Accelerator Program, based at Flinders University’s Tonsley campus, which supports small and medium enterprises to strengthen their capabilities to secure customer contracts and participate in global supply chains, with a focus on manufacturing technology in the defence sector.
Workforce development initiatives
Regional Workforce Connector Program
Workforce Innovation Projects
FORTE Tech Careers Training Program
Accelerating Regional Employment Program
Bringing new businesses and skills to South Australia
DIIS works with the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs to attract eligible skilled and business migrants through state-nominated visa programs.
We support local South Australian businesses address skills gaps in their workforce through sponsorship of skilled migrants to fill vacancies where there is a shortage of local workers.
Activities within our Skilled & Business Migration team include:
- Nomination of skilled migrants to meet critical skills shortages in the local labour market.
- Nomination of migrants with a proven record of business expertise and entrepreneurship who can inject significant new money into the South Australian economy and create new jobs.
Providing advice to the Department of Home Affairs on South Australian employers seeking skilled workers from overseas when positions cannot be filled from the local labour pool.
Get help navigating opportunities in workforce development
There are experienced DIIS team members available to support your growth ambitions – whether that be help with workforce development, navigating government and other support programs, connecting with peers and industry leaders, or the adoption of new technologies.