Qantas engineering academy addresses just one part of black hole in aviation skills and manufacturing - ETU

THE Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has welcomed Qantas’s announcement today of a new engineering academy to combat skills shortages and train aviation engineers for highly skilled roles.

However, the ETU said the move "should be part of a larger national plan to reignite onshore manufacturing in the aviation and defence industries".

“We need a national and holistic approach to the capability gaps in the aviation industry, especially one that includes avionics manufacturing," ETU acting national secretary Michael Wright said.

"There are enormous opportunities to grasp in aviation, space and defence, but we need a high skill base underpinned by secure careers. As a country, we need to be self-reliant, and the Engineering Academy is a big first step in attaining this.”

Qantas, and the broader industry, must also guarantee secure well-paid careers to boost the workforce, Mr Wright said.

He said it was "the perfect opportunity for Qantas to invest in developing skilled workers and commit to retaining its highly skilled workforce by creating secure, well-paid positions".

Mr Wright said secure employment was "the bedrock of skills development" and the Qantas Group had the chance to directly employ the trainee engineers and ensure the Engineering Academy provided the best possible training for new entrants.

The ETU spokesperson said the new Academy was a step in the right direction to address the looming capability gap in Australian aviation, space, and defence industries, particularly in avionics manufacturing.

"The ETU will work productively with Qantas to fix these gaps and develop strategies to encourage avionic components manufacturing here in Australia," Mr Wright said.



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