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Defence partners with CSIRO to tackle STEM in schools

CSIRO has considerable experience of virtual work experience programs with school-age students. Image: CSIRO

The Australian Department of Defence has partnered with CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to deliver a new opportunity for up to 330 students over three years who are interested in gaining exposure to the high-tech, cutting-edge world of defence industry.

The Defence Industry Virtual Work Experience Program offers real-world work experience to secondary school students interested in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

CSIRO will work with the Defence Science and Technology Group, DSTG, and the defence industry to deliver the program, based off its own successful program of Virtual Work Experience for STEM based learning.

Students will be partnered with other like-minded students from across Australia to work on an inspiring STEM project. They will be supervised and mentored directly by professionals working in the defence industry, and in a secure online environment.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the continued investment in school-based programs was crucial to building a pipeline of future talent and creating awareness of the great careers within the defence industry.

“Our unprecedented $270 billion in defence capabilities will create thousands of jobs over the coming decades and we must ensure we are ready to capitalise on those opportunities,” Minister Price said.

“This program will deliver a valuable opportunity to 330 students across three years, with a pilot program of 30 students to start in early 2022,” she added. The program is available to students from all parts of the country, from Karratha to Cairns and anywhere in between.

“An appropriately skilled and STEM-enabled workforce is fundamental for defence industry to build and develop a robust, resilient and internationally competitive Australian defence industrial base.

“This program is aimed at school students interested in STEM and is designed to create a sustainable pipeline of talent by engaging people across the education spectrum.”

“It also presents an opportunity for defence industry businesses to showcase the breadth of opportunity that exists within the sector within a structured and secure environment.”

More information on the Defence Industry Skilling and STEM Strategy is available at

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