Online seminar series to help SMEs pivot to defence

Defence manufacturing

Hunter Defence is taking its Defence Readiness Seminar Series online to help regional businesses take advantage of new opportunities in the defence sector.

The Defence Readiness series is designed to help SMEs break into or expand their footprint in the potentially lucrative defence industry. Hunter Defence launched the series with a successful Introduction to Defence pilot seminar late last year and was set to roll out a full program of face-to-face seminars in 2020 until the pandemic hit.

With opportunities to deliver programs in person limited by COVID-19 restrictions, Hunter Defence has pivoted to an innovative online format.

“These seminars are a great way for manufacturers and service-based firms to find out how to position their business to take advantage of opportunities in the defence sector,” Hunter Defence taskforce chair Tim Owen said.

“With many businesses looking for new markets post-COVID, and new opportunities arising from the Defence Strategic Update recently outlined by the federal government, this is the perfect time for regional SMEs to be considering contract work in the defence sector.

“Defence can be a hard industry to break into you don’t have the required accreditations, contacts and quality standards, but the rewards are rich for those who make the effort to be ‘Defence Ready’ and market their products well.”

The NSW Government has partnered with Hunter Defence to co-fund the first two modules of the online series, which address priority areas for business during the COVID recovery period.

An Introduction to Business Continuity seminar, delivered via hourly online sessions over a six-week period, begins on Wednesday 12 August.

Hunter Defence has teamed with Everymind and the University of Newcastle to develop the second government-funded module, Building a Mentally Healthy and Resilient Workforce: Practical Skills for Leaders. The course will be conducted in hourly instalments over four weeks, beginning on Monday, 10 August.

“Working with the NSW Government, we have identified these skill areas as the competencies that are priorities for business in the wake of COVID-19 disruption,” Mr Owen said.

“They will dovetail well into the next round of seminars targeting specific areas of defence industry involvement, which we plan to roll out later in the year.”

The Introduction to Business Continuity and Building a Mentally Healthy and Resilient Workforce seminars will be delivered without charge to participants, thanks to the NSW Government partnership.

“The NSW Government congratulates the Hunter Defence Task Force in actively supporting businesses to develop, engage and succeed in the defence sector,” The Hon. Stuart Ayres, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney said.

“I am pleased that during these unprecedented times, the NSW Government can support this Program. NSW defence industry will play a pivotal role in the economic recovery process.”

Applications for available course places are welcomed from participants across industry sectors but preference will be given to Hunter regional companies who are engaged in, or looking to work within, the defence sector.

To apply for a place in one of the courses, or find out more about the Defence Readiness Seminar Series, visit https://www.hunterdefence.org.au/defence-readiness-seminar-series/

Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, 5 August.