Commonwealth defence industry grants program broadened to boost training opportunities

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday April 14, 2021

Minister for Defence Melissa Price stands with defence personnel and others during the opening of Raytheon Australia’s Centre for Joint Integration in Adelaide, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. (AAP Image/Morgan Sette)

The federal government has updated a commonwealth grant program to help more businesses grow the skills of Australia’s defence industry, according to defence industry minister Melissa Price.

The Skilling Australia’s Defence Industry (SADI) program offers grants of up to $500,000 to help small to medium businesses undertake defence skills training activities.

The SADI guidelines have been amended to broaden eligibility requirements for skilling and training, and for training providers, allowing businesses to apply for grants for a number of activities.

Price said the government’s decision to improve access to training offerings through the SADI program, announced last week, was based on feedback from businesses.

Under the expanded eligibility requirements, the program can support the defence industry in technical and trade skills training, improved human resources practices, apprenticeship supervision, on-the-job training, as well as training in design, engineering, project/program management, and logistics.

Other forms of eligible training include those that enhance understanding of commonwealth government processes, like procurement services and Defence operations, and support services, such as information technology and cyber security.

READ MORE: Defence’s MSP creation is without strategy, and at a premium for resources

Price said the move would help develop the workforce needed to deliver on the government’s $270 billion investment in Defence capability.

“The Defence Teaming Centre is one industry association that is now able to use its SADI grant to provide a Diploma of Digital Technologies course to 16 participants who represent 14 different small to medium Australian defence businesses,” she said.

“A skilled workforce will help build our sovereign industrial capabilities, support innovation and grow the competitiveness of Australian industry, both here and overseas.”

SADI aims to reduce barriers faced by SMEs in the defence sector when retraining staff, develop skills within SMEs in the defence sector, and support them to establish human resources practices and training plans that will build “lifelong learning activities” into their business, according to the government.

Price noted that the government has awarded 34 grants to industry businesses to the amount of almost $2 million since September.

READ MORE: With a baffling review process, no wonder MSPs haven’t delivered for Defence


From left to right: Coras Co-Founder & Managing Director Phil Cutts, Aero PM Founder and CEO Emily Frizell,
Team Downer General Manager Chris Lovejoy, ICCPM Managing Director & CEO Collin Smith, and ICCPM
Director, Industry Liaison and Member Services Naomi Mathers.


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