Programmed Training Services (PTS) and L3Harris are reaping the rewards of a truly mutually beneficial partnership.
L3Harris have been an avid supporter of the Defence Industry Pathways Program (DIPP) since being one of the first hosts to support the Program’s first intake placements in August 2021.
Richard Browning, Mech/Elec Engineering Discipline Lead at L3Harris, believes “our strength in offering is that we have a variety of work – it allows us to expose trainees to a range of areas and see where their strengths align.”
“Students see all stages of the project lifecycle, from initial contract kick-off stage to design and production, providing hands-on, practical experience in real work.
“The benefit to trainees is these placements at L3Harris connect rotations to see purpose around why each role is important within the organisation.”
Edmond Chan, Manager Talent Acquisition at L3Harris, provides additional insight into the organisation’s reasoning for supporting the Program.
“One of our long-term TA strategies is to engage and appropriately skill early careers professionals and students, with the aim of bringing them over to the Defence Industry,” he said.
“Defence is experiencing a critical skills shortage and with ever-increasing competition from other sectors, we need to think differently to address this issue.
“Supporting the DIPP initiative is one of many levers we can pull, to grow organic, relevant and engaged talent within industry.”
Richard added: “Equally as important to us as an organisation is that we transfer our knowledge – how we do that is through supporting programs such as DIPP.”
As a result of these experiences, L3Harris has supported the employment of four DIPP Graduates into Project Support Officer and Electronics Technician roles.
We look at their stories below:
Angelica, a DIPP Graduate from intake six, came to the Program with a formal qualification in Engineering and was seeking a role that would allow her to “gain hands-on experience”.
Throughout the program, she was placed with L3Harris for two rotations – gaining experience across a range of the L3Harris business units.
Angelica says the decision to join L3Harris, where she’s been for four months, came down to her experience in the program and the mentorship of Richard.
“The team and culture are friendly and supportive,” she said.
“Being new to the Defence industry and to this role, I would like to explore and keep learning.”
Angelica says she has found the role “challenging in a positive way”, highlighting that the role has given her exposure across a range of tasks – including, but not limited to, procurement, project support and liaison with internal and external stakeholders, which she thoroughly enjoys.
“My favourite part has been engaging with a range of people, from technicians, to project management, to working and engaging with the L3Harris team,” she said.
Uranbileg (Billie) Dashzeveg
Billie, who graduated from intake two of the DIPP, says her journey into the Program was purely by chance.
Having moved from Asia to Australia as a single mother, Billie says she “found it very hard to secure a role, even with experience in Mining overseas.”
She was fortunate to be introduced to the program at a local expo with SM TAFE representative Nihar, Senior Defence Industry Employer Engagement Consultant, and was put forward to the Program.
“In the roles I had been applying for, I had been rejected as I was told I was either too overqualified or mature age,” she said.
“Nihar got talking about the Defence Industry and suggested the DIPP.”
Billie was unsure if the language barrier would preclude her, but was delighted when she was confirmed into the Program.
Always focusing on her goals beyond the Program, Billie is now flourishing in her career as a Project Support Officer at L3Harris.
“To me, the end goal is the most important thing,” she said.
“The wage was trainee wages, but once you’re committed you set yourself on the end goal and there is huge potential beyond the program.”
As for her reasons for joining L3Harris, Billie says: “To me it was their history, their advancement in technology – I am excited to be part of that history moving forward, being part of the team that supports the Australian Defence Force.”
Mandy, like Angelica, was a DIPP Graduate from intake six.
Speaking honestly, Mandy says it was “at a time in my life where I really wasn’t happy with my current job and was looking for a change – the problem was, I had no idea where to start!”
Like Billie, she was fortunate to speak with SM TAFE at an expo and things went from there.
“It really attracted me by trying different departments, and the Defence Industry itself,” she said.
“Another big attraction was you get paid as you learn.”
Saying she felt “really supported” during her placements with L3Harris, Mandy also points out the vastness of her role as an Electronics Technician.
“I felt really supported as everyone I met was willing to share knowledge, slow down and teach me,” she said.
“L3Harris have so many different projects, I get exposed to a wide range of skills and experiences.
“As an overview, my role involves wiring, cabling and terminations, assembling equipment, electronic wraps, soldering PCBs, various testing to make sure things actually work.
“With no experience prior, I was lucky enough in DIPP to experience different departments – and after rotating through the company, I knew I wanted to pursue the technician route.
“I love this hands-on role!”
Mandy highlights that the DIPP “prepared” her for her transition into the Defence industry, while also thanking Programmed for their continued support.
“I really felt like DIPP prepared me with an insight into industry and managing my expectations,” she said.
“I also felt like there was always someone in your corner from Programmed Training Services (PTS), and enjoyed the professional development component PTS provides to trainees.”
Myles has been an Electronics Technician with L3Harris for a year, having decided to join the DIPP after leaving school.
“I just came out of high school and was looking for an opportunity to gain experience in a new industry,” he said.
But while his initial attraction to the Program was that it was “something different … to hop in and learn about”, it was the ongoing support throughout his traineeship and the diversity of work that kept him engaged.
“The traineeship helped me gain valuable skills and knowledge, and I enjoyed that each day was a new challenge,” he said.
“I connected with lots of different departments and really developed a strong understanding of project lifestyle, and a strong foundational understanding of roles which really prepared me for a career in Defence.
“The jobs L3Harris have are unique – I really like the technology side of the role, learning more about the systems and how involved L3Harris are with systems they create.
“My favourite part of the role is direct exposure to industry professionals inside and out of the company, lots of different work environments and diverse crew.”
Looking forward, Myles is putting plans in place for a prolonged career in the Defence Industry.
“My personal goal would be to gain as many skills and knowledge as possible,” says Myles.
“I’m currently studying with SM Tafe, a Diploma of Applied Technologies – one of their sponsored Defence programs.”
Richard added: “Career planning has been an integral part of our success with the Program – the trainees are energised to start their careers in Defence.”
Support of PTS
While discussing the success of the Program, Richard highlights the role of Programmed alongside L3Harris.
“PTS not only manages trainees, but provides ongoing connection and engagement with trainees,” he said.
“They have a focus on engaging with trainees for career planning and talking with us as hosts about career options.”
Angelica echoes Richard’s sentiments, saying she’s grateful for the support throughout.
“I couldn’t be more thankful for the support provided by TAFE, hosts and Programmed,” she said.
“They provided training workshops and prepared us for the workforce – PTS gave us all the information we needed to be ready for the role.”