Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarships lead to jobs

Three Flinders University students have earned employment after being among the first cohort of university students to complete defence industry placements in December under the Premier’s $600,000 Defence Industry Scholarship Program.

SA Premier Steven Marshall said it was great to see the inaugural students from the scholarship program, which will continue in 2021, build real-world skills from their respective industry partners – and get jobs.

“This scholarship program is all about connecting university students with the defence industry to ensure they can take advantage of the career opportunities on offer in South Australia,” Premier Marshall said.

“We need to inspire the next generation of defence industry workers because we have a pipeline of Hi-Tech jobs in South Australia that will span over the next 40 years and beyond.”

“As outlined in the new South Australian Defence Sector Strategy 2030, ensuring we develop a future workforce with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to deliver these projects is crucial.”

Brandon Sears, who studied a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) at Flinders, completed a placement with APC Technology and has since secured full-time employment with the company.

“During my internship at APC Technology, I was able to gain solid defence experience, which was my main objective,” Brandon said. “I was given the opportunity to apply my educational qualifications, but also learnt new hands-on skills, notably in environmental testing.

“I made the decision during my internship to look for an engineering role within defence once I finished and I am delighted to have been offered, and accepted, a permanent full-time position with APC. For me the outcome of the program could not have been better.”

Scott Begbie, Managing Director of APC Technology, said the company got involved in the Scholarship Program to identify and feed prospective talent into its operations, and nurture the engineers of the future.

“Brandon has brought a new dynamic to the team and provided an opportunity for our engineers to experience the process of mentoring,” said Mr Begbie. “We believe there are mutual benefits to being part of the Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program so we would like to continue supporting the program into the future.”

Fellow Flinders graduates Darcy Owens and Tung Dang undertook Defence Industry Scholarship placements with local company Swordfish Computing over summer, which has also led to them securing fulltime employment.

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