New partnership supports local defence space industry workforce

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) is joining forces with defence space capability partner Raytheon Australia to train its Exmouth workforce and support local jobs for local people.
  • South Metropolitan TAFE partnering with Raytheon Australia to support local training of defence space industry workers in Exmouth
  • Defence industries are a key part of the local economy and its future
  • Central Regional TAFE will help build regional capacity and address emerging local workforce needs

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) is joining forces with defence space capability partner Raytheon Australia to train its Exmouth workforce and support local jobs for local people.

Announced today as part of Raytheon Australia's new Invested in Exmouth Program, the partnership continues SM TAFE's strong track record working with the defence industry to meet its training needs and supports initiatives to keep world-class talent in Exmouth.

Raytheon Australia is celebrating a decade in Exmouth serving as the capability partner for defence at the Harold E. Holt (HEH) precinct.

With Raytheon Australia's 1,500 person workforce expected to grow significantly in the next two years, SM TAFE will help overcome barriers to local training and perform a training needs analysis of its diverse workforce.

Drawing on its long-standing involvement with the defence industry, SM TAFE will work closely with Central Regional TAFE to provide local training opportunities.

The new Space Surveillance Telescope facility that was commissioned at the HEH precinct in late 2022 will provide increased levels of space awareness for Australia and the US, creating a pipeline of space careers in the region.

The Invested in Exmouth Program is a new community and workforce skilling initiative for the region that is designed to ensure the community has the robust skills, knowledge and infrastructure it needs to keep pace as the strategic naval and space capabilities as the HEH Precinct becomes increasingly important.

Other initiatives in the Raytheon Australia program include:

  • introducing 10 new scholarships for the Exmouth High School;
  • more defence industry rotations in Exmouth for serving military members;
  • new summer internships;
  • expanded volunteer firefighting training to include virtual sessions;
  • and new leadership courses delivered in Exmouth by Melbourne Business School.

SM TAFE was named Academic Institution of the Year at the 2022 Defence Connect Australian Defence Industry Awards in Canberra.

The national award highlights SM TAFE's record of providing specialist support and job-ready defence, shipbuilding and sustainment workers, supported by the McGowan Government's record $240 million investment in TAFE infrastructure and equipment.

A dedicated defence industry team located at the Rockingham Jobs and Skills Centre works with jobseekers and employers to provide advice on training pathways to employment in the defence industry and can be contacted on 08 9599 8655. More information is available at

Comments attributed to Training Minister Simone McGurk:

"The McGowan Government has invested $35 million to directly support the development of a strong and sustainable defence industry workforce for Western Australia.

"South Metropolitan and Central Regional TAFEs' work with Raytheon Australia will provide opportunities for local people to build a career in Exmouth.

"Fostering strong links between WA TAFE colleges, government, industry and the education

sector is key for developing creative solutions to workforce issues and keeping Western Australia's economy strong."

Comments attributed to Defence Industry Minister Paul Papalia:

"South Metropolitan TAFE has been recognised as the nation's leading defence trainer, and this partnership with Raytheon Australia will help support the world class defence capabilities in Exmouth.

"This partnership highlights the expertise of TAFEs and their role in creating skilled workers while helping to diversify the economy, create more jobs for Western Australians and better support our sovereign capability."

Comments attributed to Raytheon Australia Managing Director Michael Ward:

"Raytheon Australia's Invested in Exmouth Program will expand on our existing initiatives while introducing several new partnerships aimed at organically growing and keeping world-class talent in Exmouth.

"For our defence customers, our efforts here have delivered significant cost efficiencies and safety improvements, but beyond this we have also generated dozens of education opportunities, provided $50 million in work for local businesses, sustained more than 120 local jobs as part of Raytheon Australia, not to mention the flow on jobs created by circulating $200 million of local wages through the community.

"Ultimately, the collaboration that we have generated between the Exmouth community and Raytheon Australia is a practical demonstration of what can be achieved when people come together with a shared vision."

Training Minister's office - 6552 6600
Defence Industry Minister's office - 6552 5600