Former Jetstar aviation workers have been recruited to start a new career in defence industry as part of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
FILE PHOTO (Dec 2018): F-35 engine-intake plug, RAAF Base Williamtown. Photo by Brian Hartigan
The 25 former Jetstar workers commenced their training with BAE Systems Australia to sustain Australia’s growing fleet of F-35A Lightning II and Hawk Lead in Fighter aircraft.
Following training, 21 of the aviation technicians and logisticians will support the RAAF team at No 81 Wing in the ongoing maintenance of Australia’s F-35A fleet at RAAF Base Williamtown, while four will work on the Hawk at BAE’s facility.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this was a great outcome for the workers who were recently made redundant following Jetstar’s closure of its aircraft maintenance facility near Newcastle in NSW.
“I am proud of the way Defence and Australian industry have collaborated to identify new opportunities for these highly skilled workers,” Minister Reynolds said.
“These workers, who will start their new roles in January, will be retained in the local aviation industry while simultaneously helping Defence build its sovereign F-35A sustainment capability.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said these workers were already extremely well-armed with great skills and experience and it was fantastic that the defence industry sector has been able to recruit their expertise.
“Defence’s excellent relationship with Australia’s industry partners has enabled this solution.
“It not only offers employment stability for the affected workers, but assists Defence as it builds Australia’s F-35A maintenance capability.”