South Australian Government Grants to Build Workforce Skills in the Defence Industry.

The South Australian Government is supporting businesses in the defence industry to build their future workforce capabilities through a flagship program linking university students with industry.

Small and medium sized businesses can access grants to support the placement of eligible university students for periods of three to six months in roles as diverse as logistics, project management, engineering design and digital transformation.

As an employer in the defence industry, you can tap into the skills and knowledge of leading third-year and honours year university students completing a degree in science, technology, engineering and maths or business (majoring in project management or logistics) in South Australia.

By supporting the placement of these high-calibre students, you can build your future workforce, enhance your company's innovation and research capacity, and grow the quality of expertise of graduates emerging from our universities.

Participating students will receive a scholarship grant to cover the costs associated with their placement, including transport, accommodation, work-specific attire, study materials and other related expenses.

The South Australian Defence Industry Scholarship Program is designed to support the defence industry and its suppliers to build the in-demand skills, knowledge and experience through work-based learning opportunities for university students and addressing areas of skill shortage.

The Australian Industry Group is delivering this program on behalf of the South Australian Government.

Expressions of interest are currently being sought for 2023.

How university students can help improve your business during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ai Group, in partnership with the Australian Collaborative Education Network, has developed advice for companies taking on university students during the global pandemic.

For more information on how working online or remotely can replace face-to-face research or work learning placements, or how you can fill skills gaps caused by COVID-19, click the link for more information:

More information

An employer guide to work activities for students

Ai Group has produced this advice for companies looking to place higher education students within their organisation. From how to get started to frequently asked questions, this is an invaluable resource for all host companies engaging universities for research or project work.

Uni students – good news for your business

Advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman regarding student placements

The Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman has produced a fact sheet for employers providing vocational placements to students.

FWO fact sheet

Australia’s civilian defence industry employs around 28,000 people in a wide variety of occupations and is critical to supporting Australia’s strategic defence capabilities.

There are exciting new opportunities for employment in Australia’s rapidly growing defence industry among the thousands of small, medium and Prime companies.

The South Australian Government is making it easier for university students to enter a career in the state’s growing defence industry with the Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship.

Eligible students can earn a scholarship to support a research or work placement with a South Australian defence industry host company.

A grant of up to $10,000 will be made available to each student for the duration of the placement and can be used to support expenses associated with your placement.



  • Enrolled and undertaking third-year or honours year study in an eligible higher education degree
  • Eligible degrees include science, engineering, technology, maths and business majoring in logistics and project management
  • Must be resident in South Australia
  • Must be an Australian citizen (a requirement to obtain an Australian Government Security Vetting Agency security clearance)
  • Must not have been convicted of a criminal offence
  • Must attend Flinders University, University of South Australia (UniSA) or the University of Adelaide

If you are currently in a placement as part of your degree, please contact Ai Group prior to applying.

To complete your application, you will require:

  • A copy of your curriculum vitae
  • A certified copy of your current academic transcript
  • Two written references

Important dates:

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications for students already undertaking a placement will not be considered, only applications for placements yet to commence.

Please contact to discuss your situation before applying.

A placement where an employment relationship exists or is a paid internship will not be considered for a scholarship.

The placement must be credit-bearing or contribute towards the completion of the degree in which you are enrolled, like a mandatory work placement.

At the conclusion of your placement, having fulfilled the required number of hours of learning, you may enter a direct employment relationship with the company.

The scholarship is only paid for the duration of your work learning placement, as agreed between your university and host company.

Important information

Students must be engaged in meaningful learning and not in productive work, in accordance with Fair Work rules.

Placements must be located in South Australia, with an eligible host company in South Australia’s defence industry.

Advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman regarding work integrated learning placements

The Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman has produced a fact sheet for students undertaking work learning placements with a host company.

FWO fact sheet

Statement of commitment to diversity: We are committed to a non-discriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for all.

Register as a student or host company

If you are a student or host company and wish to take advantage of this opportunity, expressions of interest are currently being accepted for 2023:

Register now

Need Help?

If you have any questions, please contact us at or (03) 9867 0134.