Launch of the Defence Industry Skilling Survey

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The Hon Christopher Pyne MP

Minister for Defence Industry

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20 June 2018

Australian businesses and organisations will be given the opportunity to have their say about the workforce challenges and skills-related barriers affecting their contribution to the modernisation of Australian Defence Force capabilities.

In another initiative to assist the Australian defence industry in having the workforce with the right skills to meet future capability requirements, the Government has appointed Mr Stephen Hayes MBE, an international management expert, as the National Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Facilitator.

The Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said that the survey was important and the Defence industry sector is not well identified in broader workforce data and many defence firms work across other multiple sectors.

By participating in the Defence Industry Skilling Survey, businesses and other interested parties will help inform the development of the Defence Industry Skilling, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Strategy to be launched this year, Minister Pyne said.

“The Survey will help us build a better picture of defence sector skills and identify trends that may impact capacity to meet Defence’s current and future capability needs.” 

“The survey will also help identify priorities to be addressed through the Strategy,” said Minister Pyne.”

“The Strategy will help ensure that the defence industry workforce and skills base is in place when required to support Defence’s capability needs over the next decade, and to maximise the opportunities for supporting Australian industry workforce capability, innovation, and capacity.” 

“It is important that we highlight what our defence industry is and does, promote awareness and practical career paths in defence industry for Australian workers at all stages of their careers, and ensure that we can retain and upskill our defence industry to build greater capability today and for the future”, Minister Pyne said. 

The Strategy is an important component in the implementation of the Government’s 2018 Defence Industrial Capability Plan released on 23 April 2018.

Minister Pyne said the appointment of Mr Hayes, former CEO of the International Centre for Complex Project Management, will assist Defence in identifying and assessing defence industry skills issues across government, industry and the education sector to achieve stronger collaboration and to support defence industry workforce needs. 

“Mr Hayes’s brings an international reputation and expertise in the coordination of complex projects and will provide strategic advice to Defence, support and consultation with a range of stakeholders on Australia’s defence industry skilling and STEM challenges and gaps,” Minister Pyne said.

“Mr Hayes will also examine international defence industry skills approaches to draw together best practice and suggest options to Defence to address the long term need for a skilled defence industry workforce.” 

The Defence Industry Skilling Survey is anonymous and will be open until 20 July 2018.  The Survey is available at:

Further information on defence industry careers can be found at:

Mr Hayes’ bio is below.


Stephen Hayes MBE

Stephen Hayes is the Executive Director of the Gravity Group, a global innovation company focussed on the future of work and leadership. Stephen was the founding Managing Director and former Chief Executive of the International Centre for Complex Project Management and the founding Chair of the International Complex Project Management Research Council.

In 2010 Stephen chaired an International Task Force which developed the report ‘Complex Project Management – Global Perspectives and the Strategic Agenda to 2025’. Building on this extensive Government and industry expertise, Stephen supports government and industry in the successful delivery of complex endeavours including the transformation of strategy execution and business performance.

Stephen has a Masters of Management and is a graduate of Australian Defence Command and Staff Course. He served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 29 years and has held a military command and led the RAAF School of Technical Training (RAAFSTT), a tri-Service training organisation providing VET training for Navy, Army and Air Force personnel in support of ADF aviation.

Stephen has held posts in program management, systems engineering and human resource management. Stephen had six appointments within the then Defence Materiel Organisation including as Director Maritime Aircraft Project and Director Emerging Aerospace Projects in addition to a project management exchange with the Royal Air Force. Stephen’s project management work in the United Kingdom was recognized with the honour of being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1996. He also received the United States Defence Acquisition University President’s medal for international leadership in the field of complex project management.

Stephen was responsible for the development and delivery of the Australian Department of Defence’s Complex Project Management initiatives. These included the competency standard for complex project managers, the Executive Masters in Complex Project Management and formation of the International Centre for Complex Project Management.

Stephen was the Chair of the Global Access Partners (GAP) Taskforce on Leadership in Education and a member of GAP Australian National Task Force on Cyber Security. He is currently a member of the GAP National Standing Committee on Digital Trade. Stephen also provides strategic advice as a member of a number of corporate boards that have included the Corporate Advisory Group of Victoria Police and Queensland University of Technology’s Graduate School of Business.

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