The Defence Industry Skilling Program (DISP) is funded by an Industry Skilling and Schools Pathways Grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Defence. Regional Development Australia – Hunter is contracted to manage this skilling initiative through its “ME Program”. The “ME Program” part of Regional Development Australia – Hunter’s broader industry skilling initiative and also delivers the SMART Workforce Initiative (SWI)
The purpose of the DISP is to raise student’s awareness of possible career opportunities and knowledge of Defence and defence industry pathways whilst increasing the number of students undertaking STEM subjects in participating schools.
The DISP has an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The primary objectives are to:
(a) Increase the uptake of STEM subjects at secondary institutions;
(b) Increase student awareness of the employment pathways to Defence and defence industry;
(c) Facilitate student opportunities of hands on experiences in the defence industry;
(d) Establish student mentoring and network opportunities with defence industry.
The long term benefits are:
(a) To increase the pool of young people ready to move from school into further education and apprenticeships, internships, scholarships and part-time work/study combinations;
(b) To educate Australia’s youth about the employment options available in Defence and defence industry; and
(c) To improve defence industry’s competiveness in the hunter region, through an increased
pool of future, upskilled employees.
The DISP will ensure that students are made aware of possible Defence and defence industry career opportunities and have a greater understanding of the role of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in future careers. The Program aims to provide practical experiences for students and teachers through collaborative defence industry interaction. A fundamental element of the DISP is to contextualise certain topics within the STEM courses so that the content of learning becomes more real, relevant and enjoyable for both the teacher and student. This is achieved through strong collaboration between educators and defence industry stakeholders.
Through the application of STEM resources to schools, teachers will have the opportunity to plan projects, lesson plans and defence industry immersion experiences that offer Defence and defence industries a source of skilled and enthusiastic recruits and offer schools a method for engaging students in Defence and defence industry relevant activities.
The DISP is made up of numerous sub programs which are often run in conjunction with the ME Program’s SMART Workforce Initiative. These program/initiatives include;