Erick Andrew is an Australia Awards Scholar alumnus who graduated from the Fiji National University, Nadi School of Aviation, with a Certificate IV in Mechanical Aircraft Engineering. Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) has been identified as a priority area within Australia Awards Vanuatu, aligning with the Vanuatu National Sustainable Development Plan and one of the skills gaps identified in Vanuatu’s National Human Resource Development Plan (NHRDP). Erick is a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer, and one of only a few in Vanuatu. ‘I would like to see more people venture into this industry as a way to enhance Vanuatu’s development of the aviation sector. The course allowed me to really contextualise what I was learning through practical, hands-on elements alongside the theory being delivered’ Erick states.
Australia Awards Vanuatu welcomes TVET applicants in the Intake 2024 application round currently open and closing on 31 March 2023. TVET studies are available in both Australia and Fiji from Certificate IV to Advanced Diploma level. An English language requirement of IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) is required for most TVET courses in Australia along with a good track-record of academic performance.
TVET training is usually delivered in a workplace setting and in the case of Erik, his studies in Fiji provided access to an aircraft-hanger to ensure hands-on mechanical engineering experience. Erik encourages those with a passion for aviation to utilise the Australia Awards experience by pursuing their studies in Fiji or Australia to capitalise on their achievements. ‘TVET courses provide practical experience and exposure to key players who are highly regarded within the industry. This, in turn, boosts Vanuatu’s development in the aviation sector through the qualified and upskilled workers it creates’ Erik states.
Air transport is one of the world’s most important industries and a significant contributor to the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For Pacific countries, air travel provides an essential link, enabling the vital movement of people and commodities around the region. Erik’s work as a mechanical aircraft engineer is making a significant contribution to this essential service.