Avi­a­tion trainees for good doc­tors

The Cairns Post - - BUSINESS WEEK - ALI­CIA NALLY ali­cia.nally@news.com.au Ap­pli­ca­tions close on De­cem­ber 1. For more in­for­ma­tion and to ap­ply, go to www.hawk­er­pa­cific.com

THE avi­a­tion sec­tor of Cairns is set for an added boost after the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice’s call-out for more air­craft main­te­nance en­gi­neer ap­pren­tices to be trained at Hawker Pa­cific.

Cur­rently 12 en­gi­neers and a sup­port team pro­vided by Hawker Pa­cific keep 18 RFDS air­craft in the air and ready to re­spond to an emer­gency.

RFDS Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive Nino Di Marco said ap­pli­cants from re­gional, ru­ral and re­mote lo­ca­tions were en­cour­aged to ap­ply.

“The fly­ing doc­tor is renowned for sup­port­ing the health care needs of re­gional, ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties but we also value the im­por­tance of sus­tain­able em­ploy­ment and th­ese ap­pren­tice­ships are one way we can as­sist,” Mr Di Marco said.

Funded by Er­gon En­ergy, the ini­tial RFDS ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gram will start early next year and em­ploy two ap- pli­cants through a four-year pro­gram.

The Hawker Pa­cific Cairns fa­cil­ity, where the ap­pren­tices will be ini­tially based, has em­ployed about 70 ap­pren­tices in the past 11 years.

Hawker Pa­cific chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Doug Park said it was a priv­i­lege to part­ner with the RFDS.

“It is an hon­our to sup­port the fly­ing doc­tor, es­pe­cially with the sat­is­fac­tion of know­ing we are con­tribut­ing to the life­sav­ing work they carry out,” he said.

RFDS ex­ec­u­tive man­ager engi­neer­ing op­er­a­tions Matt Spencer said “with­out a con­certed and sus­tained ef­fort in the re­cruit­ment and ed­u­ca­tion of lo­cal ap­pren­tices, the Aus­tralian avi­a­tion sec­tion faced a bur­geon­ing Li­censed Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer (LAME) work­force short­age which could po­ten­tially im­pact crit­i­cal ser­vices such as those pro­vided by RFDS”.

Pic­ture: ANNA ROGERS

SAFETY FIRST: Avion­ics tech­ni­cian Tur­tius Vo­ges works on a King Air B350 cur­rently be­ing equipped with a med­i­cal in­te­rior.

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