Australia unveils vision to create STEM workforce for defence needs

13 August 2019 (Last Updated August 13th, 2019 10:37)

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Workforce Strategic Vision 2019-2030 to create a skilled workforce for the defence industry.

Australia unveils vision to create STEM workforce for defence needs
Professor Tanya Monro launches the Department of Defence STEM Workforce Strategic Vision 2019-2030 at Russell Offices in Canberra. Credit: Commonwealth of Australia / Department of Defence.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Workforce Strategic Vision 2019-2030 to create a skilled workforce for the defence industry.

The vision document was released in Canberra as part of National Science Week celebrations.

The DoD is looking to partner with industry and academia to create the skilled workforce required to meet the country’s future defence and national security needs.

Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro said: “These are the careers of the future and competition for people with these qualifications is fierce. It is estimated that 75% of the fastest-growing occupations in the world today require people with STEM skills.

“In Australia, there is a growing requirement for a workforce with the necessary skills to drive innovation and ensure we remain competitive in a tough global economy.

“Defence aims to shape the national agenda in science, technology, engineering and maths studies and inspire future generations of Australians to pursue careers within defence.”

Monro added that a larger and more specialised STEM workforce of both uniformed and civilian personnel is key for building a high-tech force.

In addition, the department needs to maintain a continuous pipeline of STEM graduates to attract and retain the best minds in their fields, he noted.

As part of the initiative, the Australian DoD intends to expand its STEM cadetship programme from 50 interns to 200 cadets.

The expansion will encourage students to pursue career development in defence whilst undertaking their studies.

The high-tech workforce is intended to deliver and support critical Australian Defence Force capability.

Australia wants to invest in developing the required workforce with skills in various disciplines, including engineering, design, manufacturing, programme management, logistics and support services.