Land Forces 2021: What We Learned

By Sophie Richards on 10 June 2021

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It was with much excitement and anticipation that last week the Defence community finally welcomed back large-scale face-to-face industry expos. Land Forces kicked off in Brisbane last Tuesday and the proceeding three days were filled with much talk, business, fun and even some drama too.

Our esteemed colleagues James Donovan, Mark Henneberry, Kylie Doon and Rob Kremerattended the event. In case you weren’t able to attend, here are our key learnings.

Even without the Victorian contingent, the place was buzzing. 

Many Victoria-based delegates were not able to attend the expo due to the snap lock down announced just four days prior. This included many defence industry members as well as uniformed and Common wealth individuals. 

Many organisations (like us) made the last minute decision to send alternative delegates when lockdown was announced, and of course, we were missing our usual international delegation. Despite this, the expo felt busy and had a really positive and lively feel. It was clear that many attendees were soaking up all the goodness that comes with doing business face to face after such a long break.

A different type of business development.

A consequence of having fewer Commonwealth and uniformed personnel attend meant that there seemed to be more time for business-to-business conversations. Whilst the Victorian lockdown inconvenienced many hoping to meet with government delegates, it allowed for other opportunities to be pursued in their place. 

This year’s event had a strongly collaborative feel where delegates actively engaged with other businesses. Organisations were proudly displaying their technology and open to addressing individual challenges and industry-wide issues via a shared approach.

The Defence community is as passionate as it ever has been, but so are the protestors!

Those of the Defence community who have attended other expos over the years are used to seeing some level of protest. However, this really stepped up a gear this year. Not only were there protestors holding signs, shouting slogans and making their voices heard at the entrance to the event, this year some of them made their way inside. 

Despite all the distractions, this year’s Land Forces expo was a shining success. The pleasure our community takes from doing business together was palpable, as was shared feeling of the importance of our work to our national security.

A key industry challenge. 

For Kinexus Land Forces brought the opportunity to speak to organisations about the talent shortage the industry is experiencing, and how we can work together to solve it. Launched at this event, theKinexus2021Hiring Intentions and Workforce Report detailed which locations and sectors will hire in what numbers over the next 12 months. It is now available to download for free.

Many businesses spoke to us about their need for growth, as well as the challenges they face when hiring. The issue of immigration and the difficulties faced when hiring from overseas was a common topic of conversation, as was pressure from adjacent industries. Industries like rail employ workers with similar skillsets to defence, although they have more flexibility with salaries and are not constrained by security clearances. 

Providing solutions to these, and other issues, is part of our service at Kinexus. Contact us for a detailed conversation about workforce challenges within your business.

Want to know more?

Review additional detail made available in the 2021 edition of Kinexus' Defence Industry Hiring Intentions and Workforce Report, which is available to download. 

For additional insight and to explore what the data means for your hiring activity and your defence industry organisation, get in contact with our consultants today.

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