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Posted by Defence Teaming Centre on

Upskilling staff is essential for companies to stay competitive in today’s rapidly evolving Defence landscape. However, the cost of training can be a barrier for many businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In this blog, we will explore some cost-effective ways for companies in Australia’s Defence industry to upskill their staff without breaking the bank.

1. Online courses and training programs

Online courses and training programs are one of the most cost-effective ways to upskill staff. These programs are typically more affordable than in-person training courses and offer flexibility regarding when and where employees can complete the training.

Numerous online platforms and providers offer a wide range of courses, from technical skills like software engineering and data analysis to soft skills like leadership and communication. Some of these platforms include Coursera,, and edX.

Some universities and TAFEs in Australia also offer online courses and short programs specifically designed for working professionals. These courses are often more affordable than traditional degree programs and can provide targeted, practical training in a specific area. The Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) highly encourages companies to look at the short courses available at UNSW (University of New South Wales), who has collaborated with Defence and Defence industry to develop Defence specific courses as part of the $240M Defence Trailblazer initiative. RMIT, UTS, Open Universities Australia, University of South Australia, The University of Adelaide and Deakin University also offer a range of short courses, some of which are free, and flexible study options.

2. Internal training and mentorship programs

Another cost-effective way to upskill staff is through internal training and mentorship programs. This approach involves identifying employees who have expertise in a particular area and having them train and mentor other employees.

Internal training and mentorship programs can be tailored to the business’s specific needs. They can be delivered through various methods, such as one-on-one coaching, group training sessions, or online tutorials.

This approach helps to upskill staff and fosters a culture of continuous learning and development within the company. It can also help to retain talent by providing employees with opportunities for growth and advancement within the business.

3. Industry events and conferences

Attending industry events and conferences is another great way to upskill staff. These events provide opportunities for employees to learn about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in their industry, as well as network with other professionals.

While some conferences and events can be expensive, there are often free or low-cost options available, particularly for virtual events. Companies can also offer to cover the cost of attendance or provide partial reimbursements for employees who attend these events.

The DTC regularly holds Defence industry specific development events and seminars that are free for members to attend. The DTC highly encourages companies and individuals working in Australian Defence industry too sign up to our mailing list to avoid missing these events, plus development events hosted by our members and key stakeholders.

4. Cross-functional training and job shadowing

Cross-functional training and job shadowing is another cost-effective way to upskill staff. This approach involves having employees from different departments/roles working together on projects or spending time observing each other’s work.

This approach helps employees develop new skills and promotes collaboration and a better understanding of the company’s operations. It can also help to identify potential future leaders within the business.

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