Every day, Qantas’ team of aircraft engineers enhances the airline’s safety reputation. Now, the organisation is actively seeking the next generation of talent through its Qantas Group Engineering Academy.
With a legacy of more than a century of engineering excellence and a sterling reputation for safety, Qantas is stepping up to meet the growing demand for highly skilled aircraft maintenance engineers. In 2023 alone, the airline giant is set to deliver approximately two million hours of training. This initiative is a testament to Qantas’ commitment to shaping the future of aviation in Australia and the broader industry.
Building a robust pipeline of engineers
With the aviation sector’s ever-increasing need for engineering talent, the Qantas Group recognised that a strategic approach was essential to meet their growing demands. Over the next decade, the group anticipates the requirement for hundreds of new engineering recruits annually, not only to support its growth but also to address attrition as experienced engineers retire. To fulfil this need, the Qantas Group Engineering Academy was conceived, aimed at building a robust pipeline of engineers within Australia and nurturing the next generation of engineering talent.
The establishment of the Qantas Group Engineering Academy is part of the company’s substantial investment in recruitment and training. This far-reaching plan is set to create 8,500 highly skilled aviation jobs over the next decade. The Academy’s objective is not solely to provide engineering talent for the Qantas group but to cater to the broader aviation industry, including defence contractors and general aviation. All trainees at the Academy will be employees of the Qantas Group, a unique feature that ensures they are compensated while learning and gaining hands-on experience.
The Academy offers trainees the opportunity to choose between studying in either Brisbane or Melbourne, both selected as locations for the Academy. The overwhelming response from aspiring aviation engineers was evident, as more than 1,600 individuals expressed their interest in joining the Academy as of late June 2023. The training facilities are strategically positioned close to airports in Brisbane and Melbourne, where Qantas and Jetstar have a strong engineering presence. This proximity allows trainees to benefit from a dynamic learning environment that encompasses both classroom instruction and real-world practical experience.
From 2025, the Academy, in partnership with training provider Aviation Australia, plans to train up to 300 engineers annually across both sites. The Academy’s curriculum will be enriched by Qantas Group and Aviation Australia’s combined engineering training expertise. Collaboration with unions and the wider aviation industry is underway to ensure that the training structure aligns with industry standards and expectations.
Diverse talent pool
The Qantas Group has long been an advocate for diversity and equal opportunity within the aviation industry. Just as the Group has championed its pilot academy’s efforts to increase the representation of women in aviation, it is now setting its sights on a similar goal for engineering roles. Currently, only around seven per cent of engineers at Qantas are female, but the expression of interest in the Academy demonstrates a significant increase, with approximately 16 per cent of applicants being female. This initiative is poised to expand access to a more diverse pool of talented individuals who are eager to contribute their skills and knowledge to the aviation industry.
When information about the Academy was released earlier this year, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said in a press release that the Academy meant many more trainees would be able to access the world-class engineering training programmes the national carrier was known for. “Qantas has a proud history of having some of the best engineers in the world and we want to make sure it stays that way,” he said. “Training is in our DNA. Like our Pilot Academy, this will build our pipeline of talent for both the Qantas Group and Australian aviation more broadly.”
In the same press release, Aviation Australia’s chief executive Bill Horrocks said the Qantas Group Engineering Academy will be a key contributor to the Australian aviation sector helping to address the engineering skills shortfalls. “Selecting Aviation Australia as Qantas’ training partner for the Academy recognises the important role that we play as the nation’s premier aircraft maintenance engineering training provider,” he explained. “Our training combines job-ready skills and education to translate into employment outcomes. Our training facilities will provide students with the day-to-day experience of a working hangar, as well as supervised training on aircraft, for a seamless transition into operational environments.”
A bright future
The establishment of the Qantas Group Engineering Academy marks a pivotal moment in the history of aviation in Australia. With its rich legacy and unwavering commitment to excellence, Qantas is taking significant steps to ensure that the future of aviation engineering remains bright. The Academy is set to create opportunities for aspiring engineers to embark on a fulfilling career in aviation. As the Qantas Group invests in training and recruitment, it is not only securing its own future but contributing to the growth and success of the entire aviation industry in Australia.
For more information about the Qantas Group Engineering Academy, visit qantas.com/engineeringacademy
This feature was first published in MRO Management – November/December 2023. To read the magazine in full, click here.
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