Recruitment problems remain reoccurring issue, says DSR
Photo: Defence Connect
The Australian Defence Force and defence industry are facing significant workforce challenges, according to the newly released Defence Strategic Review.
The Defence Strategic Review (DSR) was unveiled by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Defence Minister Richard Marles, and Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy on Monday, 24 April.
Recruitment is a reoccurring issue across ADF, APS, and defence industry which will continue to deteriorate without creative and flexible responses, according to the DSR.
The document recommends an increase in recruitment speed from application-to-enlistment-to-recruitment and the process of recruitment should be achieved in days, not months.
The Ministers announced that “initiatives to improve the growth and retention of a highly skilled Defence workforce” have been identified as one of the six priority areas for immediate action.
“In terms of workforce, it is one of the real challenges that we face both in terms of our uniformed workforce and also those in the department … (or) within defence industry,” Minister Marles said.
“We’ve articulated this in the context of building a capacity to build nuclear-powered submarines in this country, that having the requisite number of skilled people to do that is the biggest challenge we have.
“One of the six priorities that we are focusing on coming out of the DSR is around both the growth and the retention of our Defence Force personnel.
“We announced an academy when we announced the submarines last month … we’re working on the taskforce with the South Australian government around having the required number of people.
“We’ve made an announcement about having 180,000 fee-free places within our TAFE system. All of this is about making sure that we’re training the people that we need to, to do the very significant job at hand.”
The paper recommends options be developed to change Defence’s recruitment framework to improve the eligibility pool of potential applications, change policy to meet 2024 recruitment targets and ADF personnel management be centralised into a single integrated system headed by a chief of personnel.
In addition, it suggests a comprehensive strategic review by 2025 of the ADF Reserves and consideration of the reintroduction of a Ready Reserve Scheme.