With the introduction of 300 bursaries over the next five years to develop Australia’s nuclear science and engineering personnel, defense is trying to build up its trained workforce to enable the AUKUS submarines project.
Australia is reforming to support the nuclear aspect
On Monday, Minister of Defense Peter Dutton launched the new scholarships. He stated they will help the federal government cultivate a workforce capable of developing breakthrough technology to satisfy the country’s national security demands.
“Thousands of jobs will be created across the nation over the next few years as at least eight nuclear-powered subs are delivered,” Dutton said.
“We must ensure our people have the necessary skills and capabilities to support and deliver this once-in-a-generation initiative to strengthen our national security and defense,” says the president.
#YearInReview || In September, Australia entered a pivotal partnership, #AUKUS, which not only marked a milestone for #AusNavy but in Australian history. The trilateral security partnership between 🇦🇺, 🇬🇧 &🇺🇸 enables Australia to become a more capable power in the 21st century. pic.twitter.com/nHsapTD4Cl
— Royal Australian Navy (@Australian_Navy) December 20, 2021
Candidates who have proven strong academic results in nuclear engineering and science STEM fields (and are interested in pursuing a career in the ADF) will be considered for the Defense Nuclear Engineering and Science Bursaries.
Individuals pursuing at an undergrad level for up to four years in a graduate program, that can include Honors or Masters, are eligible for the grant.
Successful candidates will receive $20,000 each year for up to four years of full-time study, a fellowships program with the Department of Defense, a placement throughout the scholarship period, and guidance with career and study possibilities.
Students will be eligible to work for a variety of organizations involved in the development of nuclear-powered submarines.
The government will also strive to expand the amount of Australians who take Vocational Training and Education Programs; this will provide more opportunities for those engaged in nuclear-related employment.
Dutton explained, “This is about establishing a high-tech population of Australians qualified to manage and deliver this essential capability.”
The alliance will bring new opportunities
The scholarships were announced after Australia negotiated a Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Sharing Arrangement with the United Kingdom and the United States.
This is the first stage toward Australia being allowed to access sensitive and secret naval nuclear propulsion data.
The announcement of AUKUS, the military partnership between the UK, the US and Australia, is a dangerous escalation in the West’s ongoing confrontation with China. Spreading nuclear technology is at the heart of the deal. Find out how you can protest it: https://t.co/f5vyaR6uD0 pic.twitter.com/djiRO12QRQ
— CND (@CNDuk) December 17, 2021
As per the Australian Strategic Policy Faculty’s projections, the transaction will cost roughly AU$70 billion (US$50 billion), or $116 billion after inflation. Once cost drivers are apparent, the estimate is projected to rise “significantly.”
“Those [cost factors] get both the United States and the United Kingdom shifting to larger submarine designs, our build plan, and the wider support network and infrastructure required to operate nuclear subs,” according to the paper.
“There is stuff we know we do not even know, and something we don’t know we don’t know,” says Donald Rumsfeld, “and both will push up the estimates.”
Presently, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are cooperating to maintain peace and freedom in the Indo-Pacific area.
“We will stand up for what we think in and stand with our allies, especially the US, to ensure there is predominant calm in our region,” Dutton added.