YOUNG Australians have been encouraged by Assistant Minister for Defence, Michael McCormack to consider a year in the Navy, Army or Air Force.
Mr McCormack officially launched the 2017 ADF Gap Year Program at the Melbourne ADF Careers Expo, attended by students from more than 70 schools and universities across Victoria.
“The Gap Year Program offers young Australians a great adventure from which they can benefit personally and professionally,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Year 12 graduates who complete this Program gain valuable training and life-skills. Throughout their year they learn about teamwork and professionalism. They work hard and adapt to new situations and build resilience.
“The leadership skills they develop can take them anywhere. But, in past years, after experiencing service life about 80 percent of participants chose to remain in either the Reserve or Permanent ADF workforce,” he said.
In 2016 more than 430 young Australians are participating in the ADF Gap Year Program, experiencing life in the Navy, Army or Air Force.
“We are making a significant investment in our young people and future defence capability by committing $57.5 million in the Program in 2016-17,” Mr McCormack said.
The Program attracts a diverse group of young people from different cultures and backgrounds.
More than 40 percent of applicants for the 2016 Program were women and Defence also sees the potential for the Gap Year to increase the participation of indigenous Australians in the ADF workforce.
Defence Force Recruiting is currently looking for another 495 people to take up the Gap Year opportunity in 2017.
Leading Seaman Kristy Clark participated in the Navy Program in 2009 and went on to join the Permanent Navy. She is currently an instructor at HMAS Cerberus, training the latest Gap Year intake.
“I was fortunate enough to join the Navy Gap Year Program. This was a life changing experience that offered me insight into each of the jobs within Navy, both at sea and ashore."
“It gave me an appreciation for the core roles within Navy and opened my eyes to see that without each person doing their job correctly, the Navy couldn’t function as a team,” she said.
The Melbourne ADF Career Expo continues tomorrow from 10am - 3pm at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens. The event is open to the public and provides an opportunity to find out more about ADF Gap Year and the range of careers available in the Navy, Army and Air Force. Alternatively, visit www.defencejobs.gov.au/education/GapYear/
Ruby Cameron 0455 091 557