The Australian government has announced a $128 million investment to train thousands of future skilled workers to help deliver the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine pathway.
Students across the nation will receive training in 38 STEM-related courses at 16 Australian universities through the allocation of an additional 4,001 Commonwealth-supported places starting in 2024.
“The Australians who will help to build and maintain our conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines are at the heart of this historic, nation-building project,” said Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.
“It is critical we make the investments now to ensure we have the skilled workforce to deliver the nuclear-powered submarine program,” he added.
Over 1,000 slots of the program will be given to South Australian universities to support the construction of Australia’s conventionally armed, nuclear-power submarines in Adelaide.
“We need more young Australians studying STEM subjects and developing the skills we need for the AUKUS program,” said Minister for Education Jason Clare.
“These extra 4,001 places are on top of the 20,000 additional Commonwealth-supported places already funded by the Albanese Government to give more people a crack at going to university.”
Universities involved in the program were vetted for their ability to deliver proposed courses and meet the increased demand for advanced technical skills.
They were also assessed for their planned investments to engage quality teachers, plans to support the expansion of enrolment levels and initiatives to boost participation of students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Students will be eligible to apply for the program from the beginning of next year.