News & Insights | Defence Industry Pathways Program’s Zoe and Cooper: where are they now?

Defence Industry Pathways Program’s Zoe and Cooper: where are they now?

22 May 2023

Two former graduates of our Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP) Zoe Gillard and Cooper Grayden are now thriving working at BAE Systems Australia; one of Australia’s largest defence contractors. The Defence Industry Pathways Program is a 12-month traineeship funded by the Federal Government (Defence) and supported by South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services.

It provides participants with skills to enter Australia’s defence industry and a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways while exposing them to various maritime defence employers.

BAE Systems has been highly encouraged by the pair’s work with the company off the back of completing their DIPP studies. A statement provided by the company sings their praises and speaks effusively about the DIPP scheme as a whole.

‘During their DIPP rotation with BAE Systems Australia in the Detailed Design Drafting Office Zoe & Cooper have developed competencies in interpreting and creating technical drawings, WHS standards, field engineering and ship surveys. Each of these systems is highly technical. DIPP trainees in their final presentations – each of whom has gained significant confidence in the discipline and with public speaking.

‘All of them have spoken of the highly supportive environment headed by Brian and the BAE Team. Many of them have been inspired to further investigate design careers. As (BAE Systems client) Henderson does not have a history of employing office-based trainees, there was no ready system in place to manage participation. The DIPP initiative has effectively established a new early careers pipeline into that business, and we are very pleased to have Zoe & Cooper on board here at BAE Systems Australia progressing their careers in the Detailed Design Drafting/Engineering discipline and being part of the evolution in the Digital Shipbuilding Market.’

Zoe has enjoyed her time at BAE Systems thus far. Outlining her time with the company over her first eight months.

‘As part of my current daily duties I contribute to the maintenance of the ANZAC frigates by updating drawings, model production aids and working through problems found with design on the ships.

‘My favourite part of the role is interacting with engineers and providing the drawing support that enables their ideas to be represented on the ships. In working with other departments I’ve had to learn how to prioritise tasks in order to keep people happy upstream and downstream of the drafting office.

I’m very grateful for the opportunities DIPP provided me, supporting me to upskill myself and have the resources in order to be employed in the Defence Industry. My goals include completing my diploma of engineering and becoming a fully qualified draftsperson at the completion of my traineeship at BAE Systems.’

Fellow program graduate Cooper has also been with the company for eight months, after completing DIPP in July, 2022 and, like Zoe, beginning his role as a Trainee Draftsperson shortly after.

‘My role as a Trainee Draftsperson within BAE includes creating, modifying and updating drawings for the Royal Australian Navy ANZAC Frigates, including maintenance, scheduled upgrades and repair tasks, as well as other drawings for commercial vessels, site maintenance and community projects. My favourite part of my role is being able to take an idea and model it into a 3D model that can be used on the ANZAC Frigates as well as for other BAE employees to use to enable them to complete their roles.

‘My time here within the Detailed Design (Drafting) team has involved a lot of learning. From learning how to use all the systems and software required to complete my tasks, as well as studying a Diploma of Engineering through TAFE to support my role and further my engineering capabilities. My time within the DIPP program helped me to develop a keen interest in drafting and gave me the opportunity to gain work experience here within BAE Systems and ultimately accept a role in the team. My future goals here at BAE include completing and receiving my Diploma of Engineering and becoming a fully qualified and trained Draftsperson.’

You can find out more information about DIPP here.

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