Minister for Defence Materiel – Apprentices and better skills for Defence industry

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced 109 companies would share in almost $14 million for more than 4,000 training places to boost the skills of the Defence industry workforce.

This includes up to $1.4 million to support approximately 250 apprentices in trades like aerospace skills, engineering fabrication and electro technology.

“Like a lot of sectors in the economy, Defence companies are competing with the mining industry for skilled workers,” Mr Clare said.

“As we replace more Defence equipment over the next decade, we will need skilled workers to help build and sustain that equipment.

“That’s why the Australian Government is investing in boosting the skills of Defence industry workers.”

Mr Clare visited Australian shipbuilding company Austal in Perth today to make the announcement.

Defence has committed up to $588,000 to Austal for training places covering apprentices and further skills development for qualified technical and professional staff as part of the Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry program.

Since 2005 the program has funded more than 24,000 training places, including more than 2,200 apprentices.

“Over the next decade we will invest $138 million to boost skills and improve training in the Defence industry,” Mr Clare said.

A list of Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Agreements for 2011/12 and more information on the Skilling program is available at www.defence.gov.au/dmo/id/sadi/.

Media contact: Korena Flanagan – 02 6277 7620

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