A partnership between TAFE NSW, Lockheed Martin Australia and Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter is ensuring highly-skilled, high-value workers are ready for defence technologies of the future.
The initiative, called STEMstart, was formed in 2016 and was Australia’s first integrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), vocational education and training pre-employment program.
Jobs in STEM are growing significantly faster than other occupations. Analysis of labour force data by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business shows that between November 2014 and November 2019, employment in STEM occupations grew by 19.7%, which is 1.9 times higher than the growth rate for other occupations.
Branxton local Haydn Luly studied a Certificate IV in Networking after changing careers from being a mechanic. Haydn was selected for the STEMstart program and on completion was offered a full-time job with Lockheed Martin Australia as a System Administrator.
Haydn said he chose the program because of the prospective job opportunities.
“I’ve always been interested in the mechanics of things and solving problems and my background as a mechanic translated well as I had the skills to troubleshoot. My training at TAFE NSW gave me a fundamental understanding of all aspects of networking,” said Haydn.
Lockheed Martin Australia and New Zealand Chief Executive, Warren McDonald AO, CSC said "as home to Australia’s first fifth-generation F-35 fighters and Australia’s largest regional economy, we understand the importance of the Hunter to our nation’s wider economic and national security interests."
“This partnership with TAFE NSW and RDA Hunter is just one way we are working to raise the technology base in the region and develop the high-value, job-ready skills needed to create, and sustain, advanced technologies for defence."