Students to take wing and glimpse their future
  • Saturday 06 October 2012

It’s one thing to attract new industries like aviation to the Sunshine Coast.

But it’s another thing to ensure we have a skilled local workforce to take up the employment opportunities the industry will offer.

Next Friday, October 12, the inaugural forum on aviation careers and skills will be held at Palmer Coolum Resort, Mayor Mark Jamieson announced today.

"The forum will coincide with this year’s Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) Conference, hosted for the 13th time by Sunshine Coast Airport," he said.

"The forum is Australia’s only on-going national program aimed at promoting careers across the aviation, aerospace, maritime and defence sectors."

Cr Jamieson said aviation and its affiliated aerospace industries were high on the list of Sunshine Coast Council’s targeted industry attraction list.

"I welcome this educational initiative to the Sunshine Coast, and I understand more than 140 students have already signed up to the forum," he said.

"With Sunshine Coast Airport’s increasing capacity as an aerospace precinct, we are keen to be attracting aviation businesses which can support airlines through maintenance and servicing, among many other aspects.

"But council is also keen to ensure we are educating and training our up-and-coming workforce, through our schools, colleges and universities, to match the skills requirements of these industries.

"By achieving this, we not only rule out the need for some of our young people to move away to work, we also alleviate the need to leave in order to study.

"We want to ensure we have educational and vocational alignment - a key factor in the creation of a sustainable economy here on the Coast."

Aerospace Maritime and Defence Foundation of Australia CEO Ian Honnery said matching skills with demand will be a major challenge for the aviation industry.

"Analysts are predicting an unprecedented demand for pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers and technicians as the world’s developing economies take delivery of thousands of new aircraft," he said.

"These growth forecasts and the anticipated skills shortages will be one of many topics tackled at this careers and skills forum."

Mr Honnery said the program was designed specifically for secondary school teachers and careers advisors, along with forums and hands-on programs for senior secondary school students in years Nine to 12.