Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Hon Sue Ellery BA MLC

Minister for Education and Training

Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Hon Paul Papalia CSC MLA

Minister for Police; Road Safety; Defence Industry; Veterans Issues

    Cutting-edge machines to train WA defence industry workers

    10/11/2022 9:45 AM
    • Four state-of-the-art multi-axis computer numerical control machines to prepare job-ready workers for the defence industry
    • New TAFE equipment supporting defence training and delivery of low-fee skill sets
    • McGowan Government initiatives to expand WA's defence industry capabilities

    Students and the defence industry have received a major boost with the installation of new state-of-the-art machinery at South Metropolitan TAFE's Rockingham campus.


    Four new computer numerical control (CNC) milling and lathe machines have been unveiled which will enable students to train on the latest equipment used by the defence industry to manufacture parts with exceptional precision and efficiency.


    The McGowan Government is successfully progressing its strategy to build a strong local defence industry workforce and support the sector's role in economic diversification and job creation in Western Australia.


    In line with the Western Australian Defence Industry Workforce Development Plan 2022-27 launched today by Premier Mark McGowan, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery and Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia, South Metropolitan TAFE students will use the modern CNC machines to gain hands-on experience in manufacturing components for key defence maritime trades.


    The new machines were funded as part of an $18 million McGowan Government investment in growing the State's defence workforce capabilities.


    They are being used to teach apprentices programming, setting and operation of the latest CNC equipment with multi-axis and ferrous and non-ferrous materials, and can also support training in making components for a range of other industries.


    Benefits of this game-changing technology for industry include its potential to produce larger quantities of parts with less manual labour while reducing risk of human error or injury. It can also reduce the time required to machine important parts (for example, a pump shaft for a vessel of any size or shape) by up to 50 per cent.


    The investment also enables South Metropolitan TAFE, which was awarded Academic Institution of the Year at the Australian Defence Industry Awards in September, to deliver post-trade training in advanced CNC operations and programming above Certificate III level. This includes delivery of two of seven new low-fee Defence Ready Skill Sets that the State Government has made available to help make existing workers defence-ready.


    The machines are programmed with Mastercam software to help address demand for CNC programmers and machine operators in the industry.


    The State Government's investment also includes 16 new welding simulators for South Metropolitan TAFE's Naval Base campus.


    Several defence-related qualifications have already had their course fees reduced by up to 72 per cent as part of the McGowan Government's highly successful Lower fees, local skills initiative.


    Information on defence industry training opportunities is available on the Jobs and Skills WA website at http://www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au/defence or by contacting the dedicated Defence Industry Team at Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre on (08) 9559 8655.


    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:


    "My Government continues to invest in training local people so they have the skills needed for defence and other priority industries.


    "These new state-of-the-art CNC machines will support training in blue collar trades needed for the maritime defence industry.


    "Providing TAFEs with modern equipment for students to train on, and prepare for a seamless transition to the workforce, is crucial to support the reskilling and upskilling of veterans, existing defence workers and new entrants to the industry."


    Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:


    "South Metropolitan TAFE was recognised as the nation's leading defence industry trainer earlier this year, and its specialist training programs and links with industry are ensuring Western Australians are being trained to industry standard to take up defence job opportunities.


    "Our strong investment in initiatives to boost WA's defence industry workforce has generated more than 430 new apprentices for the sector in the past two years.


    "Strong defence industry training is crucial to get Western Australia ready for a rapid scale-up of defence and shipbuilding projects, and we are delivering a range of workforce initiatives to make this possible."


    Comments attributed to Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia:


    "Western Australia is Australia's frontline for defence in the Indo-Pacific region and a key contributor to defence requirements nationally.


    "Our defence industry is competitive, flexible and resilient and our advanced manufacturing capabilities and world-class tertiary institutions are contributing to its strength.


    "Key areas of focus for the McGowan Government are future-proofing the State's sovereign workforce and creating opportunities for veterans to transition into defence industry jobs with wraparound support and guidance."


    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700

    Defence Industry Minister's office - 6552 5600