Expert panel report on aviation skills and training welcomed

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has today welcomed an industry report on aviation skills and training issues presented by an expert panel.

“The panel was formed by industry to identify strategies for supporting adequate training and retention of aviation professionals, as well as maintaining Australia's position as a leading exporter of aviation training and skills services,” Mr McCormack said.

Chaired by Greg Russell, the expert panel included major airlines QantasLink, Virgin Australia Group and Rex's Australian Airline Pilot Academy, as well as industry bodies with a focus on regional aviation and the aviation maintenance industry Aviation Australia, Regional Aviation Association of Australia, Aircraft Structural Contractors and Basair Aviation College.

The Panel's report come as the strong demand for aviation professionals, the challenges for Australian airlines, as well as the significant opportunities for Australian training schools to capitalise on the extraordinary growth in Asia Pacific aviation.

“Adequate training and retention of aviation professionals are keys to ensuring continued growth of all sectors of the Australian aviation industry and the Government supports efforts by industry to find longer-term and sustainable solutions which support the ongoing expansion of the Australian aviation sector,” Mr McCormack said.

While identifying a range of areas where the industry can work together to address these issues, the report also made a range of policy and regulatory recommendations to Government. Advice to the Government on general aviation issues raised in the report will also be provided by the General Aviation Advisory Group.

“I welcome the contribution already being made by Australian airlines in support of ongoing pilot training, including the programs currently being undertaken by Regional Express and Virgin Australia.

“The recent announcement by Qantas that it intends to open a new pilot training facility in 2019 is also good news for our aviation industry and our regions—I am confident it will make a substantial contribution to both the national pilot workforce and the local economy of the location ultimately chosen to host the Academy.

“I have written to the Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, to highlight the Report's recommendations and to note its value as a snapshot of industry views regarding Australia's future aviation workforce training needs.”