Over the next decade the Australian Government will spend more than $200 billion on our Defence force.
As part of this, the Government is planning a substantial increase in Defence equipment acquisitions across all services, with the most recent Defence Capability Plan including projects or phases of projects valued at approximately $150 billion in current prices. This acquisition plan includes the Future Submarine Project – expected to beAustralia's largest ever single defence project.
A skilled workforce will be key to success and the Defence Industry Workforce Strategy plans to better position Australian industry to participate in Defence procurement.
Last September, the Australian Government asked Skills Australia to work with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) to prepare a comprehensive workforce strategy for the Australian defence materiel supply industries.
The Minister for Defence Materiel, Senator Kim Carr, today made public at the Pacific 2012 Exposition in Sydney the group’s first discussion Paper.
“On average, about 50 to 55 per cent of defence acquisition work (by value) has historically been won by highly competitive Australian-based firms including many small to medium enterprises. If Australian industry is to continue to be competitive, access to an appropriately skilled workforce will be crucial.
“A steady supply of steelworkers, welders, electricians and mechanics is needed, among many other trades. And we also need engineers, systems analysts, accountants and specialists in air and marine transport.
“Defence suppliers can expect to face significant competition for skilled labour from the resources sector and large-scale infrastructure projects including the National Broadband Network.
“This competition for skills could create challenges for the Australian defence industry. The Paper provides a preliminary, but much needed, assessment of the skills outlook for the Australian defence materiel supply industries.”
It is designed to provoke debate and invite ideas and input from the defence community. To assist this discussion, public submissions on the Strategy are invited by 5 April, 2012. The insights gained from these submissions and consultations will form a key input to the final report, which is due in June 2012.
Senator Carr said he strongly encouraged all to get involved and have a say in the process.
A background paper to this Discussion Paper and information on the public submission process can be found on the Skills Australia web site at www.skillsaustralia.gov.au.
Minister’s Office 02 6277 7620
Department 02 6127 1999