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Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group

Industry skilling support

About industry skilling program enhancement

Industry Skilling Program Enhancement (ISPE) consists of a series of initiatives that aim to expand the pool of skilled workers from which defence industry is able to recruit from to enhance work and career pathways, and to address specific skills gaps within defence industry capability.

The package announced in 2009 provided $60.8 million in funding through formal partnerships with industry and other agencies. The currently funded initiatives include:

  • Defence Engineering Internship Program
    The Defence Engineering Internship Program links 3rd and 4th year engineering students with defence small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) by sponsoring the industry placement component of their studies. The program specifically targets engineering streams that are considered by defence industry to be in short or critical supply, and aims to give student engineers a better understanding of the critical work performed by our defence SMEs.

  • School Pathways Programs
    The School Pathways Programs (SPPs) were established with the aim of addressing the skills shortage in defence industry by increasing the pool of young people ready to move from school into further education, apprenticeships, internships, scholarships and work/study combinations in defence industry. These programs specifically seek to increase the number of students undertaking science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and provide career pathways for young people wanting to enter defence industry. SPPs are currently offered through a National Partnership Agreement with the South Australian and Western Australian state governments, and in New South Wales through a grant arrangement with Regional Development Australia – Hunter.

  • Sponsoring Re-Engineering Australia Foundation
    Defence is the national sponsor of the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation 'F1 Schools' and 'Subs in Schools' STEM initiatives, which aim to raise awareness of engineering and defence industry careers for Australian students. The initiatives provide opportunities for students to develop skills and build an interest in engineering and manufacturing through hands-on enquiry based team activities.

The current ISPE programs are funded to FY2016-17, with the future model of programs to be considered by the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) for FY2017-18.

ISPE grants recipients

The Commonwealth Grants guidelines require Defence to publish information on its individual grants for reasons of transparency and public accountability. Details of grant recipients will be published no later than 14 working days after the funding agreement takes effect. This information will be retained on the industry skilling support website for at least two financial years.

School Pathways Program grants reporting:

ISPE grant guidelines and agreement:

Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry Program

The Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) program was established in 2005 to grow the skills base of the Australian defence industry. Over the life of the SADI program, funding has been provided to around 200 defence suppliers. A SADI program funding round will not be offered in FY2016-17; however, advisory and facilitation services are now available through the CDIC to help SMEs improve their business capabilities and to help them take advantage of development opportunities within the defence sector.

Previous recipients of SADI grant funding:

Capability improvement grants

The CDIC was launched in December 2016 and is designed to help transform the Defence and industry relationship, and to fund new industry development, critical skilling and export programs, as well as facilitate access to Defence's new innovation programs for SMEs.

As part of an advisory or facilitation service, business advisers may make specific business capability improvement recommendations. To assist with implementing these recommendations, businesses may be entitled to apply for a capability improvement grant to obtain reimbursement for up to half the cost of engaging a consultant or expert to implement the eligible recommendations as provided in the advisory or facilitation service report. This may include undertaking skills development training.

Please contact the CDIC for further information and assistance with capability improvement grants.

Other work experience and careers programs in Defence