| 21 November 2022

Engineers Australia helps to inform Western Australian Defence Industry plan

The WA government released its Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022-2027 (the Plan) to enable a stronger more sustainable local defence industry. 

Engineers Australia worked with the WA Government on the development of this defence industry Plan and advocated for engineering expertise and insight to be included in the formulation of the Plan’s workforce strategies.  

The Plan aims to boost WA’s capability to develop and sustain a pipeline of skilled defence industry workers and will guide the WA Government’s work with the federal government, industry and training sectors to strengthen defence industry skills and sovereign capabilities. 

Through a series of workshops and ongoing engagement with the WA Government, Engineers Australia was able to raise a number of engineering related matters during the creation of the Plan. 

We gave advice and feedback on higher education strategies relating to the maritime, air, land, space, cyber and information defence domains and their implications to engineering professionals.  

Members of Engineers Australia have also provided feedback on a draft Defence Industry Contextual Learning Module course outline and structure, being developed by South Metropolitan TAFE to be one of the Plan’s suggested defence industry induction courses. Courses like this one will be used for the new WA Defence Industry Internship and Graduation Scholarship (DIIGS) Program, targeting engineering students and/or graduates, anticipated to be launched in 2023. 

Engineers Australia WA General Manager Susan Kreemer Pickford was a representative in the Defence Industry Higher Education Advisory Committee group established by the WA Defence Industry Workforce Office.

The group has had input into the development of other defence industry initiatives, including the University-Vocational Education Articulation Initiative, the Defence Industry Reskilling and Upskilling Grant Program (which allows industry-led development of micro-credential programs) and the DIIGS Program. These initiatives all form a part of the WA Government’s $35 million investment in the development of the defence industry’s workforce. 

“In workshop discussions Engineers Australia representatives were able to contribute to questions including, how to increase the overall supply of engineering university graduates in WA,” Kreemer Pickford said.  

The Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022-2027 outlines a collaborative approach to growing the defence industry in WA. Engineers Australia looks forward to the opportunity for further engagement with the government on the roll out.