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SA uni students graduate from Defence Industry Scholarship Program

Thirty-six South Australian university students graduated from the SA government’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program on the 15th of March 2023, with participants receiving grants to undertake work placements at local defence companies.

Run by the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), the program awards participants with grants of up to $10,000 to undergo work placements within local defence companies.

To date, 64 students and 17 companies have participated in the program, teaching students essential in-demand skills, knowledge, and experience on the job.

According to Defence SA, 80 per cent of participants are offered a position with their employer.

One of those graduates is Scott Pearse, who transitioned from being an intern at DEWC Services as part of the Defence Industry Scholarship Program (DISP), before transitioning onto working on one of the company’s science and technology projects for the Defence Science and Technology Group.

South Australia Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries Susan Close explained that ensuring South Australia has the workforce to continue developing world-leading defence capabilities was a priority for the government.

“South Australia is home to a pipeline of major defence projects, with thousands of jobs available for decades to come across naval shipbuilding and other high-tech areas such as information warfare and space,” the Deputy Premier explained.

“Ensuring we have the workforce in place to complete these projects and future opportunities is our number one priority. The Defence Industry Scholarship Program supports the development of a defence-ready workforce by connecting high-calibre students with industry.”

This year’s graduation was held at the Edinburgh-based manufacturer AML3D.

According to Ryan Miller, chief executive of AML3D, DISP helped jobseekers connect with the industry.

“The Defence Industry Scholarship program has been hugely beneficial to connecting AML3D with talented graduates,” Miller said.

“The program has enabled students to work and develop new skills using advanced manufacturing technology and allows AML3D to draw from and build a highly skilled and robust future workforce.”