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Aero skills take flight in January 2023 at Ipswich

Ipswich high school students have a new flight path to a career within the aviation industry.

Ipswich City Council, in partnership with TAE Aerospace, TAFE Queensland and Aviation Australia, is assisting with aviation and aerospace skills development for the future workforce for the Ipswich region.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding, who is also chair of the City of Ipswich Defence Industry Development and Attraction Committee (CIDIDAC), said the school-to-work pathway allows students to take the first step to a career within the aviation industry.

“High school students will now be able to study Aviation Australia’s Certificate II in Aircraft Line Maintenance at TAFE Queensland’s Ipswich campus from January 2023,” Mayor Harding said.

“This new initiative is tailor-made for Ipswich students, helping them secure local, skilled employment and boosting our city’s capabilities as a hub for advanced engineering and manufacturing.

“Ipswich is home to Australia’s largest Air Force base at Amberley and the RAAF has a long-standing legacy in the community. I am delighted we can continue to build on this legacy.”

Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said the course would strengthen Ipswich connections with the aviation and defence sectors.

“Amberley provides more than 5,000 direct jobs in our community and our broader defence sector generates over $1.4 billion in annual export value,” Cr Jonic said.

“This initiative not only harnesses our community’s passion for, and history with, the local aviation industry, but it gives it wings for an exciting future ahead.”

TAE Aerospace, a global aerospace company specialising in defence and commercial aircraft engine maintenance, has welcomed the move, following the official opening of its state-of-the-art Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility (TEMF) in Bundamba earlier this year.

“Ipswich City Council, Aviation Australia and TAFE Queensland have recognised the need to grow the capability development of the region, to align with the workforce needs within the defence and aviation industries,” said TAE Aerospace CEO Andrew Sanderson.

Servicing a global customer base, across air and land platforms, the Bundamba TAE Aerospace facility is positioned to continue its growth trajectory.

“Our Bundamba workforce continues to respond to the global demands of the aerospace, aviation and defence industries. This initiative enables the local community to pursue employment pathways within an industry experiencing phenomenal growth,” Mr Sanderson said.

The National Skills Commission recently announced that apprentice-trained technicians and trades workers remain in shortage, as identified in the 2022 Skills Priority List. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in Avionics, Mechanical and Structures are three occupations that were found to be in shortage in both 2021 and 2022.

“TAFE Queensland’s commitment to providing local facilities and quality training, to meet the needs of industry, and its strong partnerships with Ipswich City Council, Aviation Australia and local schools, ensures the sky is the limit when it comes to youth interested in pursuing a career in the aviation industry,” said Jenni Butler, TAFE Queensland General Manager (South West).

Aviation Australia CEO Bill Horrocks said he was delighted to offer a pathway to students in the Ipswich region who are looking to embark on an exciting and rewarding career in aircraft maintenance engineering.

“Fully funded under the State Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) program, this pre-vocational course is designed to fit in with students’ existing high school studies, with eligible students able to complete the qualification over Years 11 and 12,” Mr Horrocks said.

“The qualification can lead to future aviation apprenticeships/traineeships and is also a fantastic way to gain a first-hand insight into an aircraft maintenance career.”

With limited places available, interested high school students are encouraged to speak with their VET Coordinator or career counsellor to register their interest as soon as possible.