11 December 2013 | Operations

Virgin Australia to invest in next generation of Engineers

Virgin Australia today announced it will make an investment in the future of aviation trade skills, with a new aircraft engineer apprenticeship program.

The new apprenticeship program will open up to 32 aircraft maintenance, mechanical and avionic apprenticeships at the airline over the next four years.

The successful applicants will be trained in Melbourne and Brisbane, working on some of the world’s most advanced technology, including repairing, maintaining and testing equipment including radar and communications systems.

Virgin Australia Acting Chief Operating Officer Lawrie Turner said: “This is an investment in the next generation of engineers for our business, increasing the number of people in Australia with vital skills for our industry.

Virgin Australia will partner with the Airline Academy of Australia to train the new apprentices.

“We have a fleet of 148 aircraft and a growing Australian-based workforce, and investing in the right skills is essential to deliver the very best for our customers.

“Virgin Australia will benefit from this new generation of aviation specialists, but this apprenticeship scheme will also provide the opportunity of a lifetime for those who are looking to secure an apprenticeship at one of this country’s largest airlines.

“We understand that a sustainable future for our business and our industry requires us to play our part, which is why we will continue to identify opportunities to invest in training and skills here in Australia,” Mr Turner said.

Airline Academy CEO Allan Brooks said: “There are a large number of people who want to work in the aviation industry, but who don’t yet have the technical knowledge or the opportunity.”

“This apprenticeship program is a rare opportunity to get a foot in the door of the aviation industry and develop valuable skills in this area.”

Applications are expected to open next week and should be made with Airline Academy of Australia (www.airlineacademy.com.au).

It is intended that successful applicants will start work with Virgin Australia in January 2014.

The apprenticeship program follows the launch of Virgin Australia’s successful cadet pilot program, which offers students the opportunity to receive full training and qualify as commercial pilots at Flight Training Adelaide.

The parties have reached an in-principle agreement in the form of a non-binding letter of intent. The parties intend to execute a binding contract to formalise this agreement in the near future.