In response to rapid changes in the global strategic environment, the Australian Government is investing a historic $270 billion in Defence spending through the 2020 Defence Strategic Update and Force Structure Plans. This is an unprecedented amount of investment. It reinforces the Government’s commitment to build a resilient and internationally competitive defence industrial base.

The 'defence industry' is the thousands of Australian businesses, men and women across the country who aren’t in the Defence Force but use their expertise, experience and skills to supply and support it - they are The Workforce Behind The Defence Force.

There will be more opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to join the over 3,000 business already working in the defence industry. Many of the opportunities will not be directly with Defence, but within the supply chains of the ‘prime’ companies that deliver the major Defence projects in Australia. The Office of Defence Industry Support (ODIS) has been established to help SMEs understand opportunities and provide assistance on improving business capabilities. 

Read more about the growing opportunities for businesses.

A strong and capable defence industry is essential to delivering our modernised defence capabilities. Over the next decade and beyond, the demand will increase for Australian workers with trade, technical and science and technology skills to build and maintain fleets of new ships, submarines, armoured vehicles, infrastructure and facilities.

These skills will also contribute to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber and other electronic and information based capabilities. Australian design, construction, sustainment and support capabilities will all be critical.

There are significant opportunities for Australian workers and businesses already supporting Defence and those working in other industries to be part of our defence industry. The Naval Shipbuilding College is working across its network of approved training and education providers to identify opportunities within existing course offerings to maximise alignment with the skilling requirements of the Enterprise.

To assist interested people to transition to and within the Naval Shipbuilding Industry, the College launched the Workforce Register in August 2018. The Workforce Register tracks potential candidates who are interested in career opportunities within the Enterprise, and operates on two levels:

1. To match the right people with the right jobs in industry.

2. To match individuals with relevant endorsed education and training courses in order to skill them for future roles in naval shipbuilding. Read more about The Workforce Behind The Defence Force.

Defence, industry, state and territory governments and the research and education sector will be working together over the coming decades to grow the defence industry. If you're running a business or looking to transfer your trade skills or perhaps you’re studying for a career – you could be part of it.