RDA Hunter’s STEM Workforce Manager, Mr Rick Evans recently participated in the second annual STEM In Defence Conference held at Canberra’s Hyatt Conference Centre on August 21.

At the invitation of Defence NSW, the event’s major supporter, Rick facilitated a round-table session addressing ‘Defining STEM and aligning goals between Education, Industry and Defence’. The panel comprised Rick Persse, South Australia Depart of Education, Richard Price, Defence South Australia, Penny Johnston, TAFE South Australia and Helen Lee, St Philips Christian College Waratah.

Interesting discussion around such issues as what success in STEM engagement looks like, who’s responsibility it is to ensure a STEM-skilled workforce and how we ensure a co-ordinated approach to STEM skilling between schools, industry and defence. 

Rick highlighted RDA Hunter’s STEM workforce initiatives as a successful model of industry/schools partnerships, telling the 120 strong audience that “RDA Hunter has switched the emphasis and puts industry first. The key to what we’re doing is providing industry with a workforce that is skilled and job-ready. We’ve listened to our industry partners and tailored our programs to ensure students are being taught the technical and enterprise skills that industry needs and have access to work placement programs that inspire them to choose STEM careers in Defence.”

The full-day conference examined a broad range of STEM in Defence issues including:

– How defence industry, including SMEs, can work with educational institutions to develop attractive career pathways (through engagement and reskilling programs alike), building up STEM talent at all points in the pipeline
– What a successful STEM program looks like for Defence and Defence Industry
– Shifting the perception of STEM careers, and careers in Defence and Defence Industry
– Implementing cultural change in Defence and STEM industries to be more inclusive, in order to attract and retain diverse talent
– Raising the profile of trades and vocations, particularly in the shipbuilding context
– What needs to happen to keep Defence and Defence Industry innovating

For more information visit https://www.admevents.com.au/stem-defence-summit/