Defence bets on a gaming solution for Generation Y

ICT skills gap widens

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has launched its 12th online game in a bid to engage Generation Y and boost recruitment.

The ADF's online games are designed to entertain and inform potential recruits about the variety of jobs available in the forces.

A report compiled by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) estimates the ADF has spent $3.8 billion since 2001 trying to fill an ongoing skills gap, especially in engineering.

Over the next decade defence will spend a further $215 million in training and support as it needs 12,000 new employees during this period with 25 per cent needed from an engineering background.

Moreover, the government is establishing a Defence Future Capability Technology Centre to drive innovation in defence technology.

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, said it is critical to the future of the ADF that Generation Y can access and interact with recruiting information via the technology they find comfortable.

He said the latest game is Operation Overwatch which allows participants to join a humanitarian aide mission, operate a temporary airfield and earn a virtual veterans' service medal.

"Operation Overwatch follows on from the outstanding success of the Air Force's two other online games, Supreme Air Combat and Operation Thunderbolt, which have already seen over 300,000 games played," Snowdon said.

"This latest game expands the idea of the Air Force as simply fast jets, to include the compelling challenge of supplying food, water and medical supplies to a country in need."

Brigadier Simon Gould, director general of defence force recruiting, said there can be no doubt the games contribute to recruitment enquiries.

"The beauty of the casual games is that they can be wholly targeted to fit our campaign audiences each and every time," Brigadier Gould said.

"The game combines a number of Air Force roles, aircraft and game-play elements that require strategy and planning, and are sure to entertain players while helping to achieve the Air Force's target of over 1700 new recruits this financial year."

Operation Overwatch is now live on www.defencejobs.gov.au.

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