The Defence Industry Pathways Program has been a hit in Western Australia, as people of all ages take up the chance to get a taste of life in the state’s Defence industry.  

The program aims to give school-leavers and others an initial experience in Defence industry through placements with relevant employers.

It also provides participants with a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways from Western Australia’s South Metropolitan TAFE.

Running over 12 months, with up to 120 trainees taking part through to 2023, the goal is to build the nation’s future Defence industry workforce by showing school-leavers and those looking for a career change what Defence industry options are available, as well as introducing them to its workplace culture.

The program was developed with input from South Metropolitan TAFE and the Western Australian maritime Defence industry. 

To date, 50 employers have applied to train and mentor the applicants, including L3 Harris Technologies, Austal, BAE, BRE Engineering, and Nihar Consultants. 

It is hoped the wide range of businesses taking part in the program will give the successful applicants exposure to a variety of sectors within Defence industry, providing them as many options as possible as they decide on the best path to take in the sector.

However, it is not just employers in Western Australia who are enthusiastic about the program. 

Within 90 minutes of its launch in June, the program had more than 100 applications.

According to data from the first two intakes, they were a diverse group.

While more than half of those accepted into the program were aged 18-21, almost a third were aged over 30, and about a third of the group were female.

Head Maritime Systems Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm said the popularity of the program across all age groups showed the strong interest in working in Defence industry.

“There are so many opportunities over future years in this industry, and the Defence Industry Pathways Program is a great way to attract people to the sector, whether it is school-leavers, people looking for a career change, or those who are just exploring opportunities,” Rear Admiral Malcolm said.

“Ultimately, we all benefit from this program, since we will be able to grow the size of our Defence industry workforce to meet the challenges of the future.”

Applications for the January 2022 intake of the Defence Industry Pathways Program are currently open through the website Programmed.

To find out more about Defence jobs, visit www.defencejobs.gov.au