CCI CEO Deidre Willmott has encouraged businesses to register on the new WA Defence Directory.
The WA Defence Directory will form the basis of a skills audit of existing industry in WA and inform government of WA’s skills capacity in the defence sector.
CCI’s sell-out Doing Business with Defence conference in December was a clear sign there is an appetite from WA businesses to jump aboard the Federal Government’s agenda, which includes $195 billion in defence acquisition projects over 10 years.
Run by the CCI’s Industry Capability Network of WA in collaboration with Department of Training and Workforce Development, the WA Defence Directory will help maximise defence supply chain opportunities for local businesses.
CCI Industry Connect Manager Chris Pretorius says the directory will also help prove WA has the expertise to fulfil defence contracts.
“As we are getting more of a focus on defence opportunities and the idea behind the WA Defence Directory is that we really need to understand what the environment looks like,” he says.
“We want to know who is currently engaged in defence contracts and who has got capability but needs to develop into that.
“The reason we need to understand that is we need to be able to go out to the primes in the defence industry and say to them “here’s the capabilities and skills we have in WA and it is a really good place to execute your projects”.
“The other part is to then also be able to identify the gaps in those capabilities and assist the State and Federal governments in programs that develop those skills.”
The directory is run in collaboration with Department of Commerce and the Department of Training and Workforce Development.
Pretorius says other directories run by CCI including for mining, oil, gas, infrastructure, IT and communications and an Aboriginal Business Directory had been hugely successful.
He encouraged everyone to jump on board the directory, even if they weren’t sure what they could yet offer the defence industry.
“Unlike Adelaide who has gone through a long period of sustained building, our industry has never had that exposure,” he says.
“We’ve got small opportunities, like Austal have done some work locally and they use a lot of WA companies in their supply chain and ASC doing maintenance at Garden Island so there’s been some engagement.
“But we’ve never had that level of engagement that Adelaide has had and that’s what we are aiming towards, to have a major defence industry capability in WA and assisting companies that have never dealt with that before to get exposure and experience.
► Want to jump on board the defence supply chain? Register your business on the WA Defence Directory today.