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Into submarines? The government wants to help you study

Government supports STEM degrees for nuclear-powered submarines project

The Federal Government wants to get more students into STEM degrees to help with its $368 billion nuclear-powered submarines project.

While the subs will not be built entirely in Australia, the government reckons the subs program will need 20,000 jobs over the next 30 years within the Australian Defence Force, the domestic ship-building industry and the public service, including scientists, engineers, project managers, construction workers, electricians, fitters and builders.

In last night’s federal budget the government kicked in $127.3 million over four years for 4,000 additional Commonwealth supported places at universities and other higher education providers for courses in STEM fields including chemical engineering, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics and physics.

RELATED: Read Careers with STEM: Defence

So if you’re considering high school subjects, stick with maths and physics to keep your options open.

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is where the government pays part of your subject fees. This part payment is a subsidy, not a loan, and you don’t have to pay it back. It can save you some serious money on an undergraduate degree.

And while you can get the benefit without signing up to work on a submarine, there are some pretty exciting gigs going in that field – like working with underwater drones, or designing cameras that work in challenging underwater conditions.

Elsewhere in the budget, the government pledged funding for 300,000 fee-free TAFE and vocational education places from 2024, extending on its ongoing agreement with the state and territory governments.

So even if you’re not planning a university degree, there are still plenty of VET options to secure an engineering career and work with subs.


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