Defence Industry Pathways Program
Western Australia

The Defence Industry Pathways Program is an innovative industry collaboration designed to develop and ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for Australia's defence industry.  

The idea of a 'gap year' program was conceived at an industry round table in July 2020, with the defence industry identifying a critical need to build talent through a vocational education and training program. 

The 12-month 'taster' program was designed to provide graduates with a broad understanding of the maritime defence industry through work placements, focusing on career pathway options in the industry. In 2023, the program has 32 maritime Defence-host employers. 

South Metropolitan TAFE, Department of Defence, employers within the defence industry and industry representatives worked collaboratively to ensure the new qualification included areas not currently covered by existing training pathways that will meet maritime Defence industry needs now, and into the future.  

As WA’s leading defence training provider, South Metropolitan TAFE continues to be the driving force of the program, overseeing two advisory groups, providing on-campus training at Fremantle, and collaborating with all stakeholders to ensure the program’s success.  

The program has promoted the defence industry as an exciting, booming career opportunity with numerous pathways. Graduate employment outcomes and increases to the industry work force are the true measure of the success of the program.