Australian government has launched a $10 million program that will provide West Australian high school graduates with a fully funded, 12-month traineeship to help grow WA’s defence industry workforce. The Defence Industry Pathway Program, developed in partnership with WA’s South Metropolitan TAFE and the State’s maritime defence industry, is a “taster” course designed to set participants on a path to an exciting defence industry career. The pilot program will support 120 students by mid-2022, with the first cohort of 20 set to begin in July. The Australian government will contribute almost $45,000 per trainee to fund their wages, on-costs and uniform, including safety footwear.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the government’s unprecedented investments in Defence projects, would create another 1,000 jobs across the nation in the naval shipbuilding industry by 2023. “This program is designed to build a pipeline of talent that is ready to be part of Australia’s booming shipbuilding industry,” Price said. “We are investing $75 billion in the maritime domain, focused on the construction, upgrade and sustainment of new and existing classes of naval vessels. With the increasing demand for workers in the shipbuilding industry in Western Australia, the maritime defence industry needs to grow its workforce. We must attract and retain the next generation of designers, engineers, scientists and technical tradespeople to our industry. We need our young people to know that there are diverse, valuable and exciting careers to be found in the defence industry.”

The Defence Industry Pathways Program is open to WA’s school leavers who have completed Year 12. While the pilot will take place in and around the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, it could be adapted for implementation in other Defence industry sites across Australia.

“The program will provide funding for the trainee’s pay, work attire and a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways,” Price said. “Defence industry partners will provide supervision, mentoring and on-the-job training. South Metro TAFE is providing trainees with on-campus study to undertake the academic modules of the traineeship. The Defence Industry Pathway Program is a collective effort between government and industry to secure a future pipeline of highly-skilled, highly-valued defence industry workers. We are pulling together to ensure young people have the right skills and right support to fill the thousands of jobs in Australia’s growing defence industry.”


For Editorial Inquiries Contact:
Editor Kym Bergmann at

For Advertising Inquiries Contact:
Director of Sales Graham Joss at

Previous articleShadow defence minister criticises government on Collins submarine decision


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here