Defence industry leaders welcome new software engineering apprentices

South Australian defence industry leaders have joined forces at the University of South Australia to welcome the first cohort of software engineering students who are beginning an Australian-first degree apprenticeship.

This follows the formal declaration by the SA Skills Commission of the Bachelor of Software Engineering (Honours) as a trade under the South Australian Skills Act 2008. The degree apprenticeship will support the growing defence sector, ahead of the construction of nuclear-powered AUKUS submarines.

This is the first time in Australia that apprentices who successfully complete their studies will receive a degree qualification as part of an apprenticeship.

Five employers have applied and been approved to employ and train software engineer apprentices. Four of those have engaged the inaugural software engineer apprentices.

The program will continue to expand and adapt to meet the fast-growing demand for Software Engineers in local industry, offering students the opportunity to secure paid work and supervised on-the-job training with an employer while studying.

The experience of the initial group of apprentices and employers will help shape the future of the South Australian higher education apprenticeship and traineeship system.

“The South Australian Skills Commission is pleased to see this degree apprenticeship underway, and for South Australia to be leading the nation with this approach,” said Cameron Baker, SA Skills Commissioner.

“We are supportive of how the degree apprenticeship model can be developed further in South Australia and applied to other industries and disciplines, where on-the job learning while studying at university could fast-track the development of work-ready university graduates.”