Defence Industry Survey Results Show Workforce Confidence Still Sky High Despite DSR

By Sophie Richards on 05 July 2023

Blog header image showing a person looking at graphs

​It’s that time of year again: the results are out of Kinexus’ annual defence industry workforce survey.

Since 2005, Kinexus has been surveying the defence sector workforce to gain insights into the composition and expectations of the workforce. In the wake of the Defence Strategic Review and broader industry change, this year it felt more important than ever to keep our pulse on what’s going on within the defence industry workforce.

Below is a summary of some of the key findings from the survey conducted in May 2023.

Additional Benefits

This graph displays a breakdown of additional benefits (beyond annual salary and statutory superannuation) being received across the defence industry. Respondents were asked to select all benefits that applied to them. Percentages represent the proportion of respondents that receive each additional benefit.

a graph showing a breakdown of additional benefits

Other included flexible work arrangements (including work from home, nine-day fortnight and flexible hours), phone allowance, paid Reserve leave and well-being allowance.

The proportion of people receiving benefits has dropped from around 60-65% (steady for the last four years) to just 56% of the population.

The proportion of people receiving further education support, salary sacrifice packages and more than statutory days off have all risen steadily over the past four years. Rising from just 2% in 2019, 20% of the population now receive funding for further education.


Employment Changes in the Near Future

This chart shows the opinion of the respondents when asked ‘Are you considering a change in employment in the near future?’

a graph showing potential employment changes in the near future

The responses on employment change have remained steady over the last few years. 42% of respondents are looking to move roles now or in the near future.


Industry Career Confidence

This chart represents the opinion of the respondents when asked ‘What is your current confidence in defence industry being able to provide you with a long-term career?

a graph showing respondents industry career confidence

Confidence in long-term defence industry career opportunity remains very strong in 2023, with 85% of responders feeling somewhat or very confident.


Impact of DSR on Confidence

Released just weeks after the Defence Strategic Review (DSR), in this year’s survey we asked our respondents ‘To what extent has the recent DSR announcement influenced your response to the previous question [on industry career confidence]?’

We asked them to rank their answer on a scale from 0 to 10 out of 10, where 0 meant not at all, and 10 meant very much so. This chart shows the respondents’ answers, grouped into those who were not impacted much at all (answers 0 to 3), those who were impacted somewhat (answers 4 to 7) and those who were impacted strongly (answers 8 to 10).

a graph showing the impact of DSR on career confidence

Only 20% of respondents scored 8, 9 or 10 out of 10, indicating that only a small proportion of respondents had been strongly impacted by the DSR.

Nearly a fifth of all respondents scored 0, therefore indicating that the DSR had not impacted their confidence in defence industry at all.

From these results we can see that the DSR has impacted the confidence of some respondents, but has not had a major impact. Confidence in defence industry providing a long-term career remains high despite broad industry change.


Job Satisfaction

This graph presents the opinion of the respondents when asked ‘What has the most impact on your job satisfaction?’ Respondents were asked to select their top five.

The percentages show the proportion of respondents that feel the factors below contribute most to their job satisfaction.

a graph showing job satisfaction impact

Other includes factors such as making a difference, having a professional and respectful team and job security.

Interesting work, work life balance and remuneration have been the top three factors impacting job satisfaction since 2019.

Just 29% of respondents listed development opportunities in their top five, a percentage that has steadily decreased since 2019.


Previous findings of the workforce survey can be found in Kinexus’ Defence Industry Insights, most recently released in September 2022. These are all available for download here:

If you’d like more insight into this year’s findings, or would like to receive a complete set of the data, contact us on and we can assist.


Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

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