Universities Australia pitches a military-educational complex

UA presents ways to address a wicked problem in national security – how to grow the workforce the defence force require sin an era of skill shortages   

In its submission to the Defence Strategic Review, Universities Australia pitches a comprehensive, coordinated partnership between its members and the ADF.

“As the needs of a modern defence force become more technical and highly skilled, there is an increasing need for a more highly educated workforce within Defence. Whereas many roles in Defence would once have required secondary school-level skills, those same roles have evolved to require undergraduate  or postgraduate qualifications,” UA asserts.

Its many proposals include

* Defence funding undergraduate places in priority disciplines

* micro-credentials for graduates in the defence forces to upskill

* a national research partnership along the lines of the “concept to sovereign capability” Trailblazer University centre, recently established at Uni Adelaide

* an annual “whole of Defence” workforce statement to “send the clearest signal of current and projected workforce requirements to … universities and TAFE.”

* a knowledge worker ADF reserve, “ready to be deployed rapidly if geopolitical conditions change or in response to a specific crisis.”

* a Defence – HE group “to streamline and formalise communication channels”