Building WA's defence industry workforce

‘The other force’ — a new campaign to raise awareness of the job opportunities and career pathways available in Western Australia’s defence industry — was launched today. The campaign aims to inspire women, veterans, young people, jobseekers and career changers to take advantage of job opportunities available.

Promoting the diverse, exciting and secure jobs offered by the defence industry is an important part of building the skilled workforce needed to support upcoming defence projects and secure future defence work, expected to be valued at up to $75 billion nationally over the next decade.

The campaign is complemented by the establishment of five new defence industry skill sets, which will contribute to a 'defence ready' workforce to bolster WA’s defence industry and support maritime defence contracts. The new $3.3 million package was developed in consultation with industry to meet industry skill demand, and courses are available through South Metropolitan TAFE. The campaign and new skill sets were presented to an industry forum held with key employers and stakeholders including Austal, Civmec, ASC West, Defence Primes, BAE Systems, Henderson Alliance, Naval Ship Management and the Naval Shipbuilding College.

Matilda Hobbins, third year South Metropolitan TAFE marine fabrication apprentice, stars in the advertising campaign and encourages others to embark on a rewarding career in defence manufacturing. Employed as a marine fabricator at Austal, the 25 year old says she has been well supported as a woman in a male-dominated industry and there is nothing like working with your hands and seeing your individual contribution come together to build a ship. 

In addition to the five new skill sets, the campaign will also highlight several other initiatives including:

  • $8.5 million for incentives of $20,000 for defence manufacturing industry employers to train apprentices in key trades;
  • $2.85 million to train an additional 335 apprenticeships in nominated trades; 
  • investment in training scholarships for women and defence veterans; and
  • defence industry training facilities upgrades at South Metropolitan TAFE.

For further information about the defence initiatives, please visit the Jobs and Skills WA website at

Page last updated October 07, 2022