CASA has awarded three aspiring aircraft maintenance engineers with scholarships to help them achieve their licences.
Ella Watson from Western Australia, and Spencer Holmes and Joshua Kilgour from Queensland, will each receive up to $5,000 to go towards earning their Civil Aviation Safety Regulation (CASR) Part 66 engineer licences.
“I’d like to congratulate Ella, Spencer and Joshua for all the work they have done within the industry so far and wish them all the best for their future careers in aircraft maintenance engineering,” said CASA CEO and director of aviation safety Pip Spence.
“We received almost 90 applications in this scholarship round, and the standard once again exceeded the evaluation panel’s expectations.
“It was also encouraging to see such a wide range of candidates, from those working for major commercial operations through to others employed in smaller organisations across regional Australia.”
The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) last year urged incentives for maintenance organisations to employ more engineering apprentices, pointing to an ongoing shortage in the industry.
RAAA CEO Steven Campbell said at the time, “All aviation sectors are affected by this shortage on a daily basis; we just need to look at increasing flight delays and flight cancellations.
“Our regional areas are particularly affected, remote communities and businesses could lose access to basic air services, which are vital for connectivity, medical and mail services.
“The author of the report, Sheridan Austin, has years of experience in this field and has consulted with other industry experts to not only understand how we got here but to also put forward tangible solutions that will seek to address the shortages going forward.”
Announcing the scholarships, Spence said, “We know there’s a shortage of licensed aircraft engineers not just here, but across the globe, and this scholarship program is one way we can show support for the aviation industry now and into the future.
“This is the third year we’ve run the program and we’ll be offering it again in 2024, so I hope all aspiring aircraft maintenance engineers consider submitting an application when that round opens.”
The scholarships are open to applicants who have started structured training towards a licence, or engineers who have not gone through structured training but are currently gaining work experience in the industry, CASA said.
“It also assists those who have demonstrated an interest in aviation maintenance, made progress through their own initiative, demonstrated aptitude for the role, and made a positive contribution to the safety culture of their profession or organisation,” it added.