MEMBER for New England Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the Abbott Government’s restoration of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Gap Year program.
Mr Joyce said restoration of the ADF Gap Year program fulfils one of the Coalition’s key Defence election commitments and would encourage more young Australians to consider joining the ADF.
“The ADF Gap Year Program provides an opportunity for young Australians, who have finished year 12 or equivalent, to experience 12 months in the military without the obligation to make a longer commitment,’ Mr Joyce said.
“This fantastic initiative represents an investment in the youth of Australia as part of the Government’s commitment to boosting ADF recruitment while also broadening community engagement with the ADF.”
Initially introduced by the Howard Government in 2007, about 2,500 young Australians participated in the program before it was axed by the previous Labor Government. The program proved to be particularly successful in recruiting women into the ADF.
The new program will begin in January/February 2015. The Army has Gap Year opportunities for Riflemen, Drivers, Administration Clerks and Supply Coordinators. The Air Force has Gap Year opportunities in Airbase Security roles, while it is anticipated the Navy will be able to accommodate Gap Year participants in future years.
“The ADF Gap Year program provides a flexible avenue of entry for many school leavers who might not have otherwise considered a career in the ADF, including women and indigenous Australians, Mr Joyce said.
“The program has been specifically designed to provide school leavers with the flexibility to experience life in the Defence Force before they decide to commit to a military career – they can try before they buy.
“I strongly encourage the many young Australians in my electorate of New England to consider participating in the ADF Gap Year program. The life skills and job training they acquire during their Gap Year experience will be invaluable regardless of the career they ultimately decide to pursue.”
Once successful applicants have completed basic recruit and trade specific training, they will then be immersed in the ADF lifestyle while continuing to learn on the job, developing their skills and all while being paid a salary of more than $45,000 a year and making life-long friends.
Anyone interested in applying for the 2015 intake can do so from 1 June by visiting www.defencejobs.gov.au, by phoning 13 19 01 or by simply visiting their local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.