The latest from Aviskills News & Updates

29th May 2018

Tom meets the Deputy Prime Minister!!

During the recent visit by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack (also the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport), to Coffs Harbour, he was able to see first-hand the operations and team at Eaglecopters, who are a fantastic regional business, providing an important service for the rotary wing sector and employing many locals.  We are proud to showcase one of our recently completed apprentices, Tom Bullen, who met him on this visit.

Tom didn’t plan to find a career in the aviation industry, but was always interested in maintaining machinery, and in 2014 he found himself taking on an Aeroskills Apprenticeship with Eaglecopters Australasia.


Pictured is Tom Bullen with Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack

To complete his qualification and apprenticeship in Certificate IV Aeroskills (Mechanical), Tom travelled from Coffs Harbour to Tamworth for 3½ years to train at AviSkills with TAFE NSW.  During this period, he either boarded with local families in Tamworth or rented accommodation with classmates – something that did not worry him and he coped well with.

In Tom’s words “I enjoyed the trade training environment at AviSkills, working in a well-equipped Hangar, while also enabling me to have an opinion and compete with my counterparts.”

Russ Hodgkins (Head Teacher) described Tom “As level-headed with a promising career in the industry.  He performed extremely well in his course and it is great to see him want to progress onto the licensing pathway”.

Eaglecopters CEO Grant Boyter also stated that “Tom has exceeded expectations and impressed his peers, where he regularly carries out quite complex aircraft maintenance events and repairs with minimal supervision.”

The Deputy Prime Minister spoke to Tom in this photo by asking him “So what are you doing on this engine Tom?”

Tom simply replied with a straight face  “Fixing it!”

Pretty well sums up the can do and focused attitude in his approach to his work don’t you think!

Note:  Eaglecopters employ approximately 20 permanent staff and are strategically located to service a global clientele.  They specialise in a range of services including Aircraft Maintenance, Inspections & Refurbishment, Structures Repair & Modification; Avionics – Repairs & Upgrades; Logistics – Part Sales, Shipping & Sourcing; Component Repair & Overhaul.

20th February 2018

Peter Jones retires

Peter Jones officially retired on 5 February 2018.   Peter will be missed after 15 years of service, and was one of the original Instructor/Trainers when AviSkills commenced (known as Australasian Pacific Aeronautical College or APAC at that time).  Peter joined AviSkills in 2002, after working with East West Airlines and Ansett, and was very committed to his work and to aviation industry training.

Peter’s guidance and encouragement to so many students helped them thrive in a very competitive environment.  Peter had a practical approach to teaching and built excellent rapport with his students.  He put in countless additional hours unpaid and his dedication to AviSkills is one of the reasons we have the good reputation we have.

We wish him well in his retirement and hope that the next phase of his life gives him the chance to do much more.  We look forward to catching up with him on his days off!!

Peter Jones at AviSkills

Peter instructing BAE student in 2014

Peter instructing BAE student in 2014


14th February 2018

Students commence classes for 2018!!

Delivering excellence in training for the future

A new year and already we are in full swing with trade classes commencing in early February 2018.  Most of all, we have kicked off the year with approximately 35 new Stage 1 students.  This is expected to increase by July 2018 and it is looking like we will have approximately a 9-12% increase in student numbers this year.

Industry Visits

Our reputation in the industry is well sought after and our industry liaison tours in late 2017 included visits to Luskintyre Aircraft Restoration, Qantas, BAE Systems, Jetstar, Scone Aircraft Maintenance, Boeing Defence and Safran Helicopter Engines.

Our trade students commenced classes this week.  Additionally, we have delivered some commercial short course programs.  Check some of the pictures of students in class this week.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook HERE !!

Stage 1 – February 2018

Megan Kaisner – Hazair

Stage 2/3 – February 2018

Stage 2/3 – February 2018

18th October 2017


We train approximately 200 students per year in Certificate II, IV and Diploma – which includes trade training.  Our location and facilities are the perfect base to start your career in aircraft maintenance.  An interesting fact from the University of New South Wales suggests that, in the longer term, the labour market for aircraft maintenance engineers may tighten. By 2025, they estimate a “30 per cent global workforce shortfall in aircraft maintenance capacity, with Australia and the Asia Pacific region particularly hard hit” (University of New South Wales, ‘The Future of Aircraft Maintenance in Australia’, October 2015.)

Jake Sheppeard

Jake Sheppeard


Watch Jake Sheppeard’s story and choice to take on a career in this industry, rather than going to University!!  “Learning and Earning” while completing his trade qualification in Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical), he is successfully building a career with BAE Systems.

Jake Sheppeard – ‘2017 Apprentice of the Year’ – New England Region

(Courtesy Prime 7 – Tamworth)


24th March 2016

Celebrating International Women’s Day – ladies in Aviation

“International Women’s Day” was celebrated on 8 March 2016.  We are proud to showcase these ladies who are training at AviSkills to complete their qualifications, and are working in the aviation industry in the avionics and mechanical streams.  These three apprentices are based at Newcastle. Their passion, motivation and enthusiasm certainly shows how they are following their dreams to become professionals in the industry.  Love your work ladies!!




23rd December 2015

Merry Christmas from AviSkills!!

The teaching staff have had a rewarding year training approximately 224 students from Certificate II to Diploma IMG_1655

The PNG Defence Force students completed their first year and will return in early February to complete their qualification.

And 2016 is shaping up to be another big year, with numbers already building from Certificate II-IV.  Our RPL model is also providing a pathway for those in the industry to gain Diploma qualifications.

We wish you a joyous Christmas and Festive Season!!!  Merry Christmas from the AviSkills Board and our Trainers!!


30th July 2015

A quick visit to Port Moresby by Kel Turner!!!

Kel Turner travelled to Port Moresby in July to inspect and meet with Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF) staff to ensure that facilities and equipment meet standards for workplace assessments for our current group of eight students, to complete their Certificate IV Aeroskills qualification in their final year of study.  Kel was able to see open and clearly the training requirements for the future of the Air Wing Engineering staff.  Several meetings were held over the days he was there and encompassed meeting the following personnel:

  • Lt Colonel Chester Berobero
  • Major Alex Patrick
  • CO ATW LT Colonel Matlock
  • Major Edward Miro
  • Senior Engineering Officer CWD Amos
  • ASM WO Kila Vaina
  • Director Air Operation Colonel Ron Hosea

All were keen to know about the progress of the current students studying in Tamworth and Kel was able to report nothing short of excellent, and that they were perfect ambassadors for their country!

Kel also had the opportunity to attend the Remembrance Day Service with Lt Colonel Berobero and his family. This is a memorial day observed to honor PNG soldiers and officers who lost their lives during World War I, World War II and other military engagements within Papua New Guinea and abroad.

Kel’s adoptive brother, Bosco Bothoa escorted him around the civil aviation operators where he promoted AviSkills services.  His final evening was spent with Chester and his family with a farewell barbecue and moo moo (food cooked on hot stones).  Kel marks this a truly memorial occasion with true PNG hospitality.  All senior staff and Chester’s family were present.

The hospitality of LT Colonel Chester Berobero and his staff was second to none!!

7th July 2015

Aviation Industry Reference Group Meeting

A great meeting was held at BAE Systems with our Aviation Group Reference members on 11 June 2015.  This group has been established to provide specific advice and guidance that will contribute to the short and long term strategic planning for AviSkills.  This is one way that AviSkills staff can build and engage with our Industry to develop organisation’s workforce.  We consider their contributions invaluable, and this in turn assist us with industry trends that may be emerging, while gaining feedback on our teaching and assessment practices.  Pictured in the photos are Chris Ireland (BAE Systems), Ryan Kijurina (Turbomeca), Nathan Morley (Fleet Helicopters), Greg Hutchinson (Jetstar), Russell Burgess (Qantas), Stephen Pickard (BAE Systems), Pierre Steyn (BAE Systems), Trevor Ryan (BAE Systems), Ernie Spies (Airbus), John Michael, Noel Woodbury, Russ Hodgkins (TAFE New England/AviSkills).


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11th June 2015

PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) student update

Check out the latest from the PNGDF students doing Certificate IV Aeroskills with us – This coverage from Prime 7 – 10 June 2015!!!  AviSkills is proud to provide quality aircraft maintenance training from Pre-Apprenticeship level through to aircraft specific Types Courses. Certificate level range from Aeroskills certificate II through to Diploma level in Mechanical and Avionics.  The students are reaping the benefits of training in Australia, that will in turn advance their career opportunities in PNG.

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7th June 2015


AviSkills hosted 36 students from Years 10 and 11 to a three hour “hands on” session on Monday 1 June.  The students travelled from North Coast and New England areas and participated in activities at the Tamworth Airport relating to aviation.  These students all had a taste of our three aeroskills streams – mechanical, avionics and structures, before moving onto Sigma, Qantaslink, BAE, Defence/Military and Flight/Pilot training over the three day program proudly conducted by the Rotary Club of Tamworth West.  This is an annual event and a great opportunity for students to get an idea and taste of what is on offer as a career in the aviation industry.  Thanks to Greg Thomas who coordinated this event – more details can be obtained from him at gthomas@ords.com.au

Here are some of the student highlights!!!


Located at Tamworth Airport, NSW, Australia |