– First TAFE NSW Newcastle graduate apprenticeship and traineeship awarded –
As part of its commitment to creating genuine career opportunities for Australians in regional centres, Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) has announced an extension of the STEMstart program in the Hunter region in 2020.
LMA partnered with Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter to launch the initiative in 2018, to award grants to develop high-value, job-ready skills needed to create and sustain advanced technologies for defence industry.
The additional grant of $30,000 will be divided between two programs: STEMStart delivered in partnership with TAFE NSW Newcastle and Altitude Accord delivered in partnership with University of Newcastle.
The funding announcement for STEMstart and Altitude Accord coincides with and is complemented by the award of LMA’s apprenticeship and traineeship, to Jessica Gear, who started as an F-35 ALIS Integration, Maintenance and Administration Services (IMAS) trainee business administrator in January 2020 and Zackery Aislabie, who started as a TADRs apprentice in January 2019.
Joe North, Chief Executive, LMA reiterated the company’s commitment to working with industry and education providers in the region and congratulated the two new apprentices.
“Lockheed Martin Australia is proud to be working with the RDA Hunter to raise the technology base in the Hunter region, which, as one of Australia’s largest regional economies and home to our country’s first squadron of F-35s, is critical to Australia’s economic interests and sovereign defence capability,” Mr North said.
“We are pleased to be investing in a highly-skilled regional workforce through our partnerships with industry and STEM learning initiatives, and I hope more students in the Hunter region will be encouraged to take-up STEM-related subjects and go on to pursue careers in the defence industry.
“I would like to once again congratulate Jessica and Zachery on their selection as LMA’s newest apprentices, and I look forward to working with them as they progress their careers in support of Australia’s national interests,” Mr North concluded.
RDA Hunter Chairman Mr John Turner said he was delighted with LMA’s commitment to the extension of the partnership, highlighting that it would have a direct impact on students’ understanding of career opportunities in the region’s defence industry.
“As one of Australia’s largest regional economies, the Hunter has a vital role in ensuring a job-ready, highly skilled, high value workforce to support Australia’s advanced technologies of the future,” he said. “And with the introduction of defence capabilities in support of the F-35, we’ll see an increase in related jobs in the next five years.”
“Through our partnership with Lockheed Martin Australia, we are pleased to help prepare the region’s students for these exciting opportunities, and we are grateful to the University of Newcastle and TAFE NSW Newcastle for their continued support,” he concluded.
F-35 ALIS IMAS trainee business administrator, Jessica Gear, said she was excited about the opportunities the LMA apprenticeship would provide.
“Lockheed Martin Australia has been very welcoming and provided many opportunities to learn about different aspects of the business,” said the Callaghan College graduate. “I would love to find myself in a project management career, and I believe the skills I am learning at LMA and the online training I am receiving through HunterNet and the Australian College of Commerce Management TAFE will help me pursue that goal within the business.”
TADRs apprentice, Zackery Aislabie, said he looked forward to the practical on-the-job training he would receive at LMA in addition to studying Electronics and Communications through Tighes Hill TAFE.
“I desired a skill set that would allow me to pursue my general interest in science, but would also ensure job security, opportunity for growth and professional development and finally exposure to colleagues equally as passionate as myself. For this reason, applying at Lockheed Martin was a no brainer,” said the TADRs apprentice.
“Over the past 12 months I have been exposed to cutting edge technology, learnt about a new industry, and more importantly I have been welcomed into a team of exceptional people all striving to do the best work possible. I am very grateful for the LMA apprenticeship and the skills I am building each day that will help me to grow in the defence industry.”