• Small business owners are simply looking for consistency in work. (Photo Credit: NIOA)
    Small business owners are simply looking for consistency in work. (Photo Credit: NIOA)

Building on its publicly available series of Defence industry reports, Kinexus has released the 6th edition in the series with a focus on salary breakdown by state and job type.

“Workforce survey data indicates that confidence in the Defence Sector as a long-term career option has remained high and the proportion of workers looking to change roles in the short-term has decreased,” the report notes. “Additionally, the sharp increase in salary levels noted over the last couple of years has slowed in the last 12 months.

“These factors indicate that workforce employment mobility may be decreasing after an initial period of movement that was initiated by new project announcements over 2017 and 2018. The flattening of salary level increases may also show that defence employers have reached their current remuneration thresholds.”

Unsurprisingly given the scale of shipbuilding work, SA has seen the strongest wage growth in the nation at 2.2 per cent, with the ACT close behind at 2.1 per cent. On average, the sector has seen wage growth of 1.8 across the board to February 2019, in comparison to CPI which rose 1.6 per cent through the year to the June quarter 2019, after increasing 1.3 per cent through the year to the March quarter, according to the ABS.

This puts Defence behind the overall national average of 2.3 per cent wage growth, considered relatively flat, which was announced last month.

"The most significant contribution to wage growth this quarter came from the public sector component of the health care and social assistance industry, where a number of large increases were recorded in Victoria under a plan to ensure wage parity with other states," Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman said.

The sector by sector breakdown in the Kinexus report makes for interesting reading; “As noted in the Kinexus Defence Industry Insights – Fifth Edition, Naval represents around 50 per cent of total hiring activity within the Defence Industry. This is largely due to the numerous ongoing acquisition and sustainment projects across the sector.”

Aviation sector hires are based geographically around south east Queensland with other hotspots in Melbourne and Adelaide for ISR related work. In the land domain, work around Land 400 Phase 2 and JP 2110 CBRNE sees ongoing work centred around Brisbane and Melbourne.

Interestingly in the ICT space, more contract work is being done through the Major Service Provider (MSP) framework than previously which has seen contractor rates fall. Good news for Defence but less great for those looking for work in this realm.

Additionally, the report also looks into not just the raw numbers of salaries but behaviour drivers such as additional benefits in a package and what makes people stay with a company. The survey found that 58 per cent of roles offered additional benefits (bonuses, salary sacrifice, parking, insurances, shares etc). Respondents were also asked to list their top five reasons for staying with a company for interesting work (72 per cent), work life balance (67 per cent), renumeration (55 per cent), location (48 per cent) and culture (45 per cent) topping the list. Only 16 per cent of people listed additional benefits as a key driver.

The survey backs up the anecdotal evidence; people stay where they have interesting work and valued for their contribution.

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