The Government of Australia has announced that its Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) Grants programme will offer grants of up to A$500,000 to support employee skillsets.

The SADI Grants programme is designed to award small-to-medium businesses with grants of up to A$39m ($29.81m) in the next two years to support the development of a skilled workforce.

Following feedback from the defence industry, the SADI guidelines have been modified to widen eligibility requirements for skilling and training, as well as for training providers.

Australian Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the government is expanding and improving access to training offerings through the SADI grants programme.

According to the Australian Defence Department, other types of ‘eligible training’ include design, engineering, project and programme management as well as logistics.

Price said: “SADI can now support defence industry in technical and trade skills training, improved human resources practices, apprenticeship supervision, and on-the-job training.

“The Defence Teaming Centre is one industry association that is now able to use its SADI grant to provide a Diploma of Digital Technologies course to 16 participants who represent 14 different small to medium Australian defence businesses.

“This government’s support for skills training is part of our plan to develop the workforce needed to deliver on our historic A$270bn investment in defence capability.

“A skilled workforce will help build our sovereign industrial capabilities, support innovation and grow the competitiveness of Australian industry, both here and overseas.”

The SADI programme in particular will award funds to companies to support technical and trade skills training, job training, as well as enhance human resources practices and apprenticeship supervision.

Last September, Australia launched SADI grants programme that seeks to develop a skilled workforce in the defence industry sector.

Since then, the government has awarded 34 grants to industry businesses valued at some $2m.