Aviation Jobs Take Off for Far North Students

Leading aviation operators have teamed up to offer Far North Queensland students a rewarding global career pathway, complete with subsidised study and guaranteed employment opportunities.

The unique program, the first of its kind in Australia, is a cadetship established between Jet Aviation and Skytek, with Aviation Australia as the training provider. It is part of a long-term strategy aimed at recruiting Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (LAMEs), a specialist career facing skill shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aviation Australia Business Manager for North Queensland, Chris Pigott, said there had never been a better time to train as an aircraft maintenance engineer.

“The industry is growing and there is a critical shortage of aircraft engineers in the industry. This is a worldwide career and there is a very high demand for jobs locally, nationally and overseas,” he said.

“This inaugural cadetship program could help to safeguard the future of the industry.”

Applications open today and training will commence in February 2023. Students can choose to study either an Avionics or Mechanical trade pathway, with fees subsidised under the Queensland Government Aviation Strategy for eligible applicants, along with contributions from the program partners.

On completion of the 10-month cadetship, students who meet the criteria will transition to being employed with either Jet Aviation or Skytek.

Students will be provided with work experience opportunities, support and mentorship, with monitoring every three months to ensure they are on track.

“Trainees who embark on the cadetship program and meet the selection criteria for an apprenticeship can expect to become a qualified LAME in four years, all while training and working locally,” Mr Pigott said.

Ian D’Arcy, Jet Aviation Vice President for North East Asia, said: “Aviation is an exciting industry to be a part of. We are always thinking about the next generation and considering what is going to happen in five or 10 years’ time. We hope other aviation companies around the country will consider a similar cadetship program.”

Skytek Chief Engineer Reece Booij worked as a diesel fitter before becoming an aircraft maintenance engineer.

He said every day on the job was different and interesting.

“We get to work on all sorts of aircraft - normal passenger aircraft to emergency medical services, you get a full range of work. Every job is different,” Mr Booij said.

“A cool thing about aviation is going on check flights after you finish. You get to fly around, see the reef, make sure all the work you did is up to speed. It’s a reward.”

“My family find it pretty magic that I do this work. Being able to bring friends or kids to work, and see something like a helicopter hovering in mid-air, it’s a career that a lot of people find exciting.”

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Officer Richard Barker said the program presented significant potential for the wider Far North region.

“There is an exciting opportunity here for us to position ourselves as a growing destination for aviation-related careers and training, which would offer positive effects for the broader community,” he said.

Mr Barker said all airports had been affected by flight delays and cancellations in recent months and engineer shortages had been a major contributor.

“Aviation is integral to life as we know it. We do not want to imagine a future without world-class travel and connectivity opportunities, not to mention the vital medical and commercial services that rely on the industry to operate. This is particularly relevant in regional and remote areas,” he said.

To enquire about or enrol in the Cadetship Program, visit aviationaustralia.aero or phone 073860 0923.