The Government of Australia has launched a grants programme that seeks to develop a skilled workforce in the defence industry sector.

The Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) Grants programme is devised to award small-to-medium businesses with grants of up to A$500,000 to boost employee skillsets.

As agreed, the government will allocate A$39m ($28.32m) for the SADI programme in the next three years to support the development of a skilled workforce.

Particularly, the programme will award funds to companies to support technical and trade skills training, job training, as well as enhancing human resources practices and apprenticeship supervision.

Notably, the funding is part of the government’s recently announced A$1bn ($720m) investment package to support the defence industry.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “I am proud to support small-to-medium Australian businesses in the defence sector by providing opportunities to upskill and retrain their staff through the SADI Grants programme.

“This initiative will provide certainty to businesses looking for ways to grow their workforce skills and ensure those skills are up-to-date.”

The government will also provide funding to eligible industry associations, which facilitate training for defence industry small-to-medium businesses.

Price added: “This is just one of the ways the Morrison government is supporting small businesses during this time of economic uncertainty.

“The development of a robust, resilient and internationally competitive defence industry is key to supporting defence capability needs and will foster economic growth.

“I encourage businesses nationwide to take advantage of this unique skills programme.”