Qantas's new Engineering Academy 'a turning point on the future of Australian technical jobs' says AWU
THE Australian Workers' Union (AWU) has welcomed Qantas's decision to establish a new Engineering Academy as part of a major recruitment drive, describing it as a potential turning point for Australian technical jobs.
The Qantas Group Engineering Academy will have the capacity to train up 300 engineers a year. It will provide aviation engineers for the Qantas Group as well as the broader aviation industry, including defence contractors and general aviation.
AWU national secretary Daniel Walton said the announcement represented an extremely welcome shift.
"For years our union has been crying out for investment in the skills of tomorrow, but good news on that front has been sparse in recent times. Today's announcement represents a very welcome turning point," Mr Walton said.
"It takes a long time to train aviation engineers, so today's investment creates a long pipeline that will result in good quality Australian jobs for many years to come.
"I've been fortunate enough to work with aviation engineers for a good chunk of my working life as a unionist and I understand the passion these men and women have for the vital work they do. I think it's fair to say their morale has taken a beating in recent years, so today's announcement I hope will brighten the horizon.
"Australian aircraft should be serviced and maintained by well-trained Australian engineers. I welcome Qantas's strong commitment to the future of Australian engineering jobs and look forward to working with the airline to ensure the best possible opportunities are provided to Australians keen to learn."
"I call on other major Australian employers to take this as a sign of turning tide and to start making their own plans to invest strongly in Australian apprenticeships and Australian skills."