AITC scholarship takes flight at Aviation Australia

Scarlett Toohey-Crock Australian Industry Trade College Scholarship Recipient

Aviation Australia recently announced the launch of their Female Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (FAME) program. FAME is an aviation industry-first initiative designed to support and nurture future female aircraft maintenance engineers as they build their careers in a traditionally male dominated field. The launch provided an opportunity for students to meet up and connect with industry.

Leif Mawson, Technical Training Manager, Aviation Australia says, “we want to make a really big impact. To have a healthy pipeline of women going to our employer partners is something that we feel really passionate about.”

The Queensland Government subsidises the schooling at Aviation Australia however there is an out-of-pocket fee the student normally pays to be part of the course. “Our industry partners have covered the outstanding gap between what the Queensland government subsidises and what the student would normally pay themselves,” explains Leif.

The Australian Industry Trade College (AITC), industry partner of Aviation Australia, is sponsoring 2020 graduate Scarlett Toohey-Crock to complete her goal and achieve a Cert IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical).

Glenn English, AITC Industry Engagement Advisor, says “Scarlett’s dream was to do that course at the end of her graduation but unfortunately she wasn’t able to cover the cost. When the opportunity came up for us to sponsor a position in the FAME program, we knew Scarlett was a deserving candidate.”

The course starts in mid-January 2022 and runs through to the end of November. “During that time students gain a lot of the theoretical knowledge that underpins an apprenticeship. They will learn practical skills that will set them up for when they gain an apprenticeship,” says Leif.

“Our industry is experiencing a skills shortage at the moment so there’s never been a better time to join and ideally have a job outcome at the end of it,” added Leif.

Scarlett, who dreams of becoming a helicopter mechanic, says she “was really excited” to be given the opportunity through a FAME scholarship from the AITC. “My main goal is to do my best throughout the course and in my exams. I am very grateful to the AITC.”

Glenn says looking after an AITC past graduate, “aligns with our philosophy of supporting our young people even after they’ve graduated from the College.”

The AITC has been working with Aviation Australia for a little over 12 months. “We originally began the relationship with site tours for our young people. That partnership has grown to the point where we are sponsoring a young person in the FAME program. There are other programs we are running with Aviation Australia including pre-apprenticeship training courses and potentially, in the future, the possibility of a couple of our campuses becoming gateway schools for the aviation industry.”

“This is the first time the FAME program has been run. To the best of our knowledge, it’s the only program of its kind in the country. This has the potential to almost double the workforce of females as mechanical engineers in the aviation industry,” says Glenn.

At the AITC “we encourage young women to be involved in different industries. It’s also important to provide opportunities for all our young people to gain employment outcomes in fields they had never previously considered.”

For next year’s FAME scholarship, “we will start promoting this to our young people throughout 2022. We will expose them to the industry by bringing them to Aviation Australia for tours. We also look forward to hosting them on our campuses to talk to our young people as well.”

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