Aviation/Aerospace Australia is working with a number of companies and schools to develop an aviation training program designed to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the sector.
It was announced on Tuesday Aviation/Aerospace Australia had received a $1.8 million grant from the Victorian Department of Training and Education’s Workforce Training Innovation Fund to start a pilot program that was developed by industry for industry.
Aviation/Aerospace Australia said the training concept had been in the works for more than a year with industry partners Boeing Aerostructures Australia, Moorabbin Flying Services, Marand Precision Engineering, Seeing Machines and Thales Australia involved alongside Swinburne Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE).
“Industry agrees that a training solution covering fundamental skills and knowledge, spanning aviation and aerospace will assist to close the current and anticipated skills gaps,” Aviation/Aerospace Australia deputy chair Linda Spurr said in a statement.
“It will allow for better integration of roles and functions, establish more job-ready employees and better prepare course participants for job entry into this highly regulated and safety-focused sector.”
The training course would comprise a “series of micro credential skillsets designed and delivered by industry”, Aviation/Aerospace Australia said.
“It has received industry support because it is seen to be practical and accessible, where participants may enroll in as few as one skill-set, if that is what they require.”
Spurr said 20 skillsets would initially be developed, with the scope to expand this over time as new needs are identified.
“The whole point is to ensure that this training initiative remains adaptable, agile and responsive,” Spurr said.
Moorabbin Flying Services general mangager Mark Darragh said this would be a “game changer for industry”.
“The approach to offer micro credential skillsets, or small pieces of learning, is agile and innovative and is exactly what is needed,” Darragh said.
Aviation/Aerospace Australia said the proposed course would be a Certificate III in Aviation/Aerospace Fundamentals, which would be a “solid foundation into entry level jobs and training pathways, as well as offering career pathways and progression opportunities for those already working in aviation and aerospace”.
Figures from the 2018-2037 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook showed the aviation sector would 754,000 new aviation technicians over the next two decades.
This comprised 622,000 commercial aviation maintenance technicians, 89,000 technicians in the business aviation sector and 43,000 technicians for helicopters.
Although the estimate for commercial technicians was down from 648,000 a year ago, Boeing noted modern day aircraft required new skills.
“As new generation airplanes become more prominent in the global fleet, advances in airplane technology will drive an increased need for technicians skilled in avionics, composites, and digital troubleshooting,” the Boeing outlook said.
“Mobile and distance learning solutions are becoming increasingly popular as a flexible alternative to traditional classroom instruction, and new technologies such as augmented reality are being tested as a way to improve engagement and knowledge retention.
“As airlines continually invest to improve the quality and efficiency of their operations, new training curriculums and methodologies will need to be adopted to keep pace with innovation.”
Victoria Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney launched the funding grant at Moorabbin Flying Services on Tuesday.