Training to be ‘top gun’ mechanics
Four of Directions’ newest apprentices are finding out that trade training can be anything but ordinary when you work on fighter jets!
Kane Doyle, Chris MacNeil, Samantha Dalgleish, and Zarren Van Wieringen (pictured, L-R) are hosted with BAE Systems who are providing operational maintenance to the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF’s) Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter fleet out of RAAF Base Pearce. The Hawk 127 Lead-In Fighter is a tandem, two-seat jet aircraft, used to prepare the RAAF’s fast jet aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet and ultimately, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
BAE Systems needed quality apprentices and quickly, and Directions was more than able to deliver. The recruitment process was also a bit special with BAE Systems team members joining John for interviews of the shortlisted candidates, some inside an actual aircraft on site at Jandakot TAFE.
The four started in early 2017. Before they could start actually working on the aircraft, the group travelled to Williamstown in the Hunter region of NSW for several days of training in how to navigate around the aircraft safely and learning about the features of the jets. According to Apprentice Consultant John McMenamin, they have since all settled into their new roles very well and are on their way towards their Certificate IV Aeroskills – Mechanical.