MOU to nurture local aircraft engineers and pilot
A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Tertiary Scholarships and Loan Service (TSLS) and Fiji Airways will pave the way for more locals to eventually join Fiji’s National Airline as pilots and aircraft engineers.
The MoU enables Fiji Airways to select and industry mentor a TSLS sponsored in pilot and aircraft engineering programmes providing a pathway for young Fijians to apply for scholarships that develop candidates to the minimum entry requirement to join the airline as work ready graduates.
TSLS CEO, Dr. Hasmukh Lal said the MOU signing will allow TSLS and Fiji Airways to collaborate and allow more locals to become qualified aircraft engineers and pilots. This MOU will also reduce attrition and non-completion rates.
“This is a precedent setting MOU for TSLS and we are engaging with the other organizations to sign MOU’s whereby they are part of the selection process – what this means is previously from the time TSLS started sponsoring students for the pilot training they were basically given the sponsorships based on their application and the offer letter they got from the flying school, going forward from next year those students who apply for the commercial pilot programme TSLS will submit the names to the Fiji Airways and Fiji Airways will put them through as assessment and once they have passed the assessment TSLS will get the names and will provide scholarships. TSLS is pleased that Fiji Airways will provide students with industry mentoring from the outset and will also be monitoring the student progress,” he said.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Mr Andre Viljoen said he was pleased to sign the MOU to nurture more young Fijians to join Fiji Airways.
“I am pleased to sign this MOU to nurture more young Fijians to join Fiji Airways as pilots and aircraft engineers by providing a scholarship pathway that meets Fiji Airways expectations and requirements,” he said. “The MOU will enable Fiji Airways to administer a TSLS sponsored cadet pilot scheme that develops candidates to the minimum entry requirements to join the airlines benefitting both from the airline and these young Fijians that aspire to fly for Fiji.”
He further highlighted that Fiji Airways needed up to 200 airline pilots and 100 aircraft engineers over the next 10 year.
“Fiji Airways needs up to 200 qualified airline pilots over the next 10 years to educate and train a young Fiji national to the correct standard for entry into our jet fleets can take up to six years – we will be looking to take on about 20 candidates per year and who we will than select for the scholarship programme. Similarly, as an airline we need up to a 100 qualified aircraft engineers over the next 10 years and developing graduates can take up to seven years- under this MOU we will administer TSLS sponsored apprentice engineer’s schemes for scholarships to become licensed aircraft maintenance engineers,” he said.