Department of State Development

11 Jul 2016 Skills, Science, Innovation

Key sponsorship boosts South Australia’s defence and STEM capabilities

Defence technology and innovation company Lockheed Martin Australia will be sponsoring university students in two programs which aim to strengthen their skills and experience to boost South Australia’s defence and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) credentials.

The company will sponsor up to eight students at South Australian universities in two government-led programs, the Defence Honours Scholarship Program and the STEM Internship Program, an investment of $62,000 over two years.

The funding provides much sought after opportunities for students to gain valuable industry experience, enhance their learning and gain work-ready skills with local defence industry partners.

Premier Jay Weatherill said our state is home to a world-class defence industry, delivering innovative solutions to complex problems.

"Having a State Budget surplus, as announced on Thursday, allows us to be flexible in the way that we ensure we have skilled STEM workers capable of meeting the industry’s needs into the future," Mr Weatherill said. 

"These programs, along with our $500 million STEM investment in schools, will give students the experience they need to succeed in the field – and a foot in the door for jobs in the defence sector."

Higher Education and Skills Minister Susan Close said STEM skills are critical to innovation, which is at the heart of the state’s future economic growth.

"There are many opportunities in STEM industries, including defence, with strong career prospects and high salaries. It’s really important we engage young people and raise their awareness that studying STEM subjects opens up a world of opportunities for their future career," said Ms Close.  

Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive Raydon Gates said Lockheed Martin Australia recognised that their future success depended on the constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical talent.

"As part of our efforts to educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and mathematicians, we believe that supporting initiatives like this one will play a vital role in educating the next generation of STEM professionals," Mr Gates said. 

"We know the opportunities that a career in STEM can afford firsthand and we are pleased to be participating in these programs with the South Australian Government to ensure future generations will have the access and opportunities to choose a rewarding career."