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UNSW to offer “QantasLink approved” pilot training scheme

written by Owen Zupp | August 6, 2015

IMG_7834To the backdrop of a Dash 8-Q400 and a Diamond DA-42 trainer, QantasLink and the University of New South Wales announced a collaboration that will offer the next generation of pilots an exciting new direction. It is not the first time that the two organisations have worked together, but this partnership takes their relationship to a new level.

UNSW aviation students will have the ability to become ‘QantasLink Approved’ through the course of their degree studies. As QantasLink CEO John Gissing highlights, “These students will not only benefit from the opportunity to fast-track their career by joining Australia’s premium regional airline, but will also learn from the wisdom and experience of our qualified QantasLink pilots.”

Under the scheme, the trainees will have their progress monitored by QantasLink while also being mentored by pilots from the airline. They will also undertake the UNSW’s new Graduate Diploma in Advanced Flying, which will encompass such topics as Multi-Crew Co-Ordination and advanced systems while being specifically tailored to the Q400.

The Head of the UNSW School of Aviation, Professor Jason Middleton, described the new flight simulators for the program as “state-of-the-art”, adding to the already impressive UNSW facilities at Bankstown.

Once employed by QantasLink, graduates will complete their training under the supervision of QantasLink’s experienced training team and go on to become qualified as first officers flying the airline’s 74-seat Q400s.

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Comments (15)

  • Snuf


    No where is the term “Cadetship” used, but that’s basically what it is I understand….

  • Nicholas Bennett


    IT is so hard for graduates of a bachelor of aviation degree to get their first flying job. Hopefully this makes it easier for them and gives Qantas access to what they need, good pilots and crew.
    Good deal, fair deal, should be interesting to watch

  • Chris


    Snuf, I don’t think it is. Cadetship means they need to offer employment. This sounds like a nice way to hand pick the best without having to commit to employment. Very smart if you ask me. 🙂

  • Lucas


    Another money making scheme aimed at young naive wannabes… No different to other programs such as Jetstar, Rex, Qantas…

  • Dashman


    And like that QLINK became Pay2Fly.

  • MrC


    Sounds like another door slowly closing on the embattled GA pilot, in favour of the kid with the wealthiest parents…great!

  • John


    As someone who worked for qantaslink for many years, I really don’t understand why they are doing this. Qantaslink already has experience issues, and introducing more cadets is only going to aggrevate the issue. On the other hand, most pilots use qantaslink as a stepping stone due to the limited progression opportunities available within the company, so bonding cadets for 7 years is probably their only way to retain pilots. I have nothing against cadets, but I feel sorry for hard working GA pilots who might miss out on a spot because of these types of programs.

  • Chuck


    In more recent years, many of the hard working GA pilots (that are motivated towards airline careers) are the graduates of university aviation programs. And not all of them have rich parents with deep pockets, so don’t throw that into the mix. Many graduates of the 1990s that I know were mortgaged to the underwear, or working 2 jobs to make it happen and did not have the FEE-HELP safety net – there was no way to defer costs – Yet at graduation they had no easy career pathway.
    In some respects this arrangement now opens a channel to make it easier to transition to an airline career without having to go via GA. Will GA lose?… perhaps it means that some pretty good kids will now head straight into an airline, but that in some respects is no different to what happened in the 1960-80s.

  • John Doe


    As someone who completed QantasLinks previous traineeship nearly two years ago, I find this announcement extremely upsetting. Myself and around 20 to 30 other trainees have been completely left in the dark since completing the QantasLink program during 2013/ 2014, actively passed over for positions with no explanation why, and given little to no communication at all. This is despite spending a significant amount of money and time on the traineeship, all in good faith, and successfully graduating from the then Adelaide based program. This has now left all of us finically compromised and well behind in typical GA career progression. The communication from company representatives (or lack there-of) has almost bordered on cruel at times, and shows little to no compassion for our situation. This has led some to leave the industry all together, and I would not be at all surprised if there was not significant depression issues invloved with the majority of those who have been passed over. Buyer beware.

  • Shaun


    “IT is so hard for graduates of a bachelor of aviation degree to get their first flying job.” Only if you’re not willing to move to the jobs. Darwin, Broome, Kununurra etc. Gen Y want cake and eat it too in this respect. Airlines cry a pending pilot shortage when really they’re happy to take the risk on inexperienced copilots so they can negotiate a cheaper B scale pay. Tail strike away kids!

  • Ali G


    As a current Qantaslink employee, my adviceis to….. RU\NNNN as fast as you can.
    This is the only way that they can attract and trap pilots.
    The conditions are the worst in the industry and set to get worse.
    You will have better luck anywhere else.

  • Benji


    Whilst this might help Qantaslink with a steady stream of pilots I have my doubts about their skills. I cut my teeth by leaving the safety of Adelaide after getting my completely unnecessary MECIR from the Australian Aviation College and working in William Creek, Alice Springs and then Darwin flying C206s, C210s and Barons in all manner of conditions as the PIC. It’s what makes Aussie pilots so good. When I finally landed that airline position, I was completely ready for it. Given the number of young, motivated and experienced GA pilots out there, it really beggars belief that Qantaslink choose to take greenhorns just so they can be “molded”. Wouldn’t they prefer to mold young pilots with 1,200 hrs of solid GA experience? Just my opinion…

  • Jim


    Aviation programs offered by Swinburne University are better structured than UNSW, with a best cost-benefit

  • Geoff


    Years ago when I was gaining my Private licence, a few of our instructors were Qantas Cadets, farmed out to GA. They came back to Qantas much better pilots than the university versions as these Qantas cadets had to make their own decisions, often in very hazardous weather conditions flying charters and carrying out flying training in Rural Australia. The QantasLink deal churns out ‘pilots’, but if QantasLink do not need any pilots at a given time, then can be simply passed over, as I suppose over time, they lose the experience unless they can get a flying job “waiting”…John Doe’s comments above say it all…….

  • Joe Bloggs


    As John Doe said, they f*cked over 20-30 of us with the QLink cadetship at FTA in 2013, many of us still paying back the debt we had to undertake to complete the course. They will do the same again.

    Personally I have been out of aviation for the last 2 years to pay bck said debt, because I make more money in the construction industry than in GA. I’m now frothing at the bit to get back in the left seat in a 210 somewhere in our great North West.

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