Dec 16, 2008

New Aviation Technical Training Program targets regions

New Aviation Technical Training Program targets

rural and regional Australians

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 16 2008

A new $2.8 million facility will be established to train the highly skilled workers necessary for maintaining Australia’s state-of-the-art air traffic control equipment.

The funding will see the establishment of a trade specific curriculum and training facility at Wagga Wagga in regional NSW.

Through a strategic partnership between Airservices Australia, Wagga Wagga City Council, the Regional Development Board and the Riverina TAFE, between 18 and 36 students a year over five years will be recruited and trained in electronics.

The electronics trainees will gain diploma qualifications, with specific skills in radio communications and the maintenance of critical national airways equipment such as radars and other ground based navigation aids.

Already the initiative appears to be achieving the desired response, with more than 100 young Australians responding to a nationwide advertising campaign.

Successful candidates will gain their qualifications during residential learning at the Wagga campus, hands-on experience within Airservices and guarantees of employment with the organisation after successful completion of their studies.

The $2.8 million investment resulted from Airservices’ critical examination of the options to attract and retain the staff essential to the future implementation and maintenance of aviation technology.

This is a very timely initiative. Over the next five years, it is expected that a third of Airservices’ current technical maintenance staff will retire.

As emphasised in the Aviation Green Paper which I released earlier this month: without this renewed commitment to skills development, our nation’s ability to maintain essential air traffic control services would have been jeopardised.

I applaud Airservices Australia, Wagga Wagga City Council, Riverina TAFE and Charles Sturt University for their foresight in creating this partnership.