As investment in defence projects ramps up and job opportunities abound, Kinexus’ latest Defence Industry Insights paper reveals that focus is turning to adjacent industries and strategic partnerships to grow the Australian defence industry workforce.
Using data collected from the annual Kinexus Defence Salary Survey, and data points from the Kinexus database, the eighth edition of the Defence Industry Insights paper identifies some of the major trends within the defence sector’s workforce development.
Firstly, it unveils that the proportion of workers actively seeking new employment has steadily dropped over the past five years, now making up only 17% of the workforce.
“This trend means that employers will have to work harder to find and retain suitable talent,” the report suggests.
Data also reveals that salaries have increased by a national average of 1.3% in the 12 months to April 2021, double the 0.6% average increase recorded in the previous year.
Additionally, employers are investing in more sophisticated and robust Employee Value Propositions to appeal to worker expectations, beyond simply financial benefits, such as “interesting” work and flexible working arrangements.
As the industry continues to suffer from a significant worker shortage, the report points to the importance of looking towards adjacent sectors as potential sources of talent.
“In response to the limited availability of highly sought-after skill sets, below the line employers have begun to actively attract, hire and integrate workers from adjacent industries,” the report says. “Early indications show that the transition of these workers into defence industry roles has been successful.”
The data has also found that the defence workforce is aging, and employers must plan to facilitate the transfer of critical skills from older to younger workers.
The report urges that employers should look to updating their workforce strategies in line with these trends or risk a threat to future defence industry capability.
“The worker shortage makes for exciting times for jobseekers, whilst organisations must consider the ramifications of the mismatch of worker supply and demand,” Kremer said.
“Mitigating strategies should be introduced to attract and retain available talent, including distributed workforces, alternate site locations, adjacent industry attraction and integration, and training or partnering initiatives.”
For those organisations that have already adapted their attraction and retention programs in line with these strategies, the report has found that early experiences have been positive.