People looking for new careers and opportunities have a chance to get their foot in the door with the region's booming defence industry.
Nowra TAFE has joined forces with the Shoalhaven defence supply chain industry, to offer a free employment program to jumpstart a career in the industry.
Ryan Harding from TAFE NSW said students would start next week on a Certificate 1 in Engineering and work placement with defence accredited businesses.
"There's a number of local businesses in the Shoalhaven that are needing skilled workforce, so as a result TAFE partnered with the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group and training services to offer a 10-week program," he said.
That includes six weeks in class learning a range of technical skills, and four weeks of work experience at some of the Shoalhaven's leading businesses that are lining up to be involved in the program.
And there is a promise of plenty of long-term jobs for people who complete the course.
"Our business partners are Air Affairs, Sikorsky, Global Defence Solutions, Mellori and NowChem, and they're looking to offer jobs to the participants in aircraft maintenance, advanced manufacturing and logistics, just to name a few," Mr Harding said.
"These are quite high -value jobs and this is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door in a booming industry."
The program is part of a local strategy to help address skill shortages and support Shoalhaven defence suppliers to meet increased demand after the Australian Government’s $200 billion investment to increase defence capability.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher Metal Fabrication and Welding Trades, Nathan Bayliss, said the program offered anyone looking to start a career or reskill the chance to explore a career pathway in a fast-growing industry.
"There is high demand in the Shoalhaven area for skilled workers in a range of areas, including advanced manufacturing, engineering, electronics, welding, and aircraft maintenance,” Mr Bayliss said.
"Students will attend training three days a week at TAFE NSW Nowra, learning real-world practical skills in engineering and fabrication. The program will give students a competitive edge, with the skills ready to start work in the industry."
One of the business partners is Air Affairs Australia, and production manager Darren Bramley said finding workers with the right skill set had been challenging .
"This program will help train students with the work-ready skills industry needs and connect our business with potential job candidates," he said.
Image: TAFE NSW