New data reveals strong growth in defence sector apprentices

The latest apprentice and trainee data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows a strong increase in the number of defence sector apprentices and trainees in South Australia over the last 12 months.

As at 30 September 2021, there were 5,360 apprentices and trainees in-training in trades relevant to the defence sector – an increase of 28.5% from the previous year’s figures. In addition, apprenticeship completions in the same period almost doubled from 510 to 1,015.

As part of this, commencement of apprenticeships and traineeships in Engineering, ICT and Science Technician roles more than doubled during this time.

Defence SA Chief Executive Richard Price said the increase in apprentices and trainees with skills applicable to the defence sector was encouraging, given the strong pipeline of defence industry work earmarked for South Australia in coming years.

“South Australia is the Defence State. In the coming years, we will be home to a number of major naval shipbuilding projects, creating up to 5000 jobs by 2030, along with thousands of jobs across other projects delivering world-class cyber and systems solutions as well as intelligence including surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare capabilities,” Mr Price said.

“A career in South Australia’s defence industry equates to a long-term career with these exciting projects spanning decades. Now is the time for young people to consider the defence industry as a viable career option right here in South Australia.

“There are many interesting, well-paid jobs that start with vocational training and so I’d encourage anyone who’s ever thought about a career in the defence industry to look into the different career pathways to find one that’s best for you.”

To find your place in South Australia’s defence industry, visit

Click here for more information about the NCVER apprentice and trainee data set.



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