Staged to highlight the career opportunities available in Aerospace in the Hunter, over 100 students from participating high schools engaged in the second of two Aerospace careers events today.
RDA Hunter’s ME Program worked in partnership BAE Systems Australia to host today’s aerospace careers event. Over 30 BAE staff volunteered to work on their day off to assist in advancing the next generation in future aerospace careers. The awesome Rebecca Warden and Andrew Chapman from BAE Systems organised an outstanding tour of the BAE Systems facilities. This is the only event that shuts down BAE Systems Williamtown operation, which is a sign of the importance that the industry places on advancing Aerospace careers in the Hunter.
“Hunter schools used to be well below the average for STEM participation” ME Program Director Dr Sleap said.
“But now because of the ME Program and our partnerships with local industry, we are leading the state in STEM participation. 68% of schools in the Hunter are now endorsed for the high school iSTEM course, compared to just 4% across NSW. We have 57 Hunter schools and over 50 industries partners active in the delivery of the ME Program, including great multinational companies such as BAE Systems.”
“This is exciting for everyone, especially for the industry who needs a STEM enabled workforce and for the students and teachers who can contextualise what they’ve been studying.”
Students visited BAE Systems’ Williamtown facility to see first-hand aeronautical engineers and technicians sustaining the nation’s fighter jets, and to find out about career pathways into the aerospace industry.
“BAE Systems needs about 200 additional staff in the next five years just within this region,” Andrew Chapman, head of aerospace engineering at BAE Systems Williamtown, said.
“Giving these students are starting to make decisions about their futures a chance to walk through here today… this is the place where they will start. It makes it real for them.
“Today is about lighting a spark in them and to encourage them to chase their dreams.”
Part of today’s visit included a careers presentation at the Mercure Hotel, where the students learnt about the impact that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sustainment will have on their future careers prospects in the aerospace industry. Presentations from BAE Systems, Regional Development Australia – Hunter, Boeing Defence Australia, RAAF Williamtown and Defence Force Recruiting demonstrated to the students the great opportunities that currently exist for employment in the Aerospace Industry locally and detailed the different career pathways available to young people in the Hunter.