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TAFE NSW gives aviation career a flying start

TAFE NSW Newcastle

TAFE NSW gives aviation career a flying start

18-year-old Alex Phillips’ aviation career is off to a flying start after landing his dream apprenticeship at Regional Express Airlines (REX) whilst completing his HSC.

He’s joining the airline industry at the perfect time, airline maintenance workers are in demand with annual industry revenue forecast to increase by 2.7% as airlines and Defence upgrade their fleets[1].

The year 12 student has aviation in his blood so decided to complete a Certificate II in Aeroskills through TAFE NSW as part of his HSC.

“I decided to study this topic because I've always had a passion for aviation as my Dad flew C-130H in the RAAF and then flew for a commercial airline. We used to get to fly with Dad, I always was in awe of the way planes work especially classic aircraft like the P-51s or SR-71,” Alex said.

“I've been working at McDonald's for the past three years while attending school. Recently, I landed my dream apprenticeship with REX doing heavy maintenance on their SAAB 340 fleet when I finish my HSC in October this year.”

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Aviation Michael Crawley said the maintenance course prepares students for work in the aviation industry and potential employment. 

“The nationally recognised Certificate II in Aeroskills at TAFE NSW helps students launch their careers in the in-demand aviation industry,” Mr Crawley said.

“Through a mix of theory and practical coursework students gain handskills, underpinning knowledge and introduction to the industry. Graduates can go on to have careers as Aircraft line maintenance workers, maintenance engineers and more.”

Alex is enjoying his studies, learning how to work on an aircraft to remove, install, inspect and test various systems and mechanical components and interpret aviation maintenance manuals.

“At TAFE NSW, I’ve been learning the basic skills needed in aviation maintenance workshops, to ensure planes fly smoothly and safely, and gained credits towards my qualification whilst still at school.”

“I applied for the apprenticeship with REX back in December of 2021 and on my resume, I listed that I was completing my Certificate II in Aeroskills at TAFE NSW. With my newfound experience and studies I was able to provide good quality responses which I’m pleased to say helped me gain the position I wanted.”

TAFE NSW Newcastle is offering the MEA20418 Certificate II in Aeroskills (Mechanical/Avionics) in Semester 2, 2022 and will be aiming to open up enrolments for school-based learners in the MEA20418 Certificate II in Aeroskills, AVI20518 Certificate III in Aircraft Line Maintenance and AVI30419 Certificate III in Aviation Remote Pilot (Drones) in 2023.

For more information about the range of aviation and aeroskills qualifications offered at TAFE NSW, head to or phone 131 601. 

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.