Sharp Airlines – Trainee Profile

Dushyant Mehrotra, 22, was born to fly. He sought out Sharp Airlines’ 18-month, nationally accredited training after two and a half years of an aviation degree. Mehrotra is completing a Certificate IV in Aviation (Commercial Pilot Aeroplane Licence) and Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Flying Operations) and, like all successful trainees, will be appointed as a First Officer with Sharp on graduation. The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) developed his qualifications, which allow him to fly for any Australian carrier in the future, and brokered his training under the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF). Mehrotra’s parents raised him in Dubai where his father was general manager of a travel company, so knew many pilots. “We used to travel a lot. I loved sitting in the cockpit, chatting with the pilots,” he says. Mehrotra is one of an annual intake of just 14 students, and admits the school’s intentionally small size initially concerned him, having come from a class of 200. But a mentor pointed out it would help his career take off with more air hours and hands-on experience, essential in the aviation industry. “The pilot shortage, it’s not looking for inexperienced pilots, which is what I would’ve been,” he says. Aviation is “dynamic: no two days are the same. Actually, no two hours are the same. I plan for a flight and two hours later the winds change, 180 degrees. That is when training comes into effect: you need to be able to think and react fast.” Mehrotra says trainee pilots should have a good grasp of maths, physics and English along with confidence, motivation, discipline and...

Sharp Airlines

Established in 1990, Sharp Airlines is a regional airline with operations stretching across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. With its headquarters in Hamilton, Victoria, the locally-owned business carries approximately 100,000 passengers a year between eight locations. A high ambition in the aviation sector is to attract, train and retain quality pilots to fly in regional areas, says Sharp Airlines’ training manager Helen Sobey.. Locally owned Around 70 staff and a fleet of 15 aircraft transport passengers, freight, post and essential services between major cities and surrounding regional areas. A high ambition in the aviation sector is to attract, train and retain quality pilots to fly in regional areas, says Sharp Airlines’ training manager Helen Sobey. “The nature of the industry is that, as their experience and flying hours increase, they will be offered work with the national and international carriers,” she says. But with help from the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC), Sharp is putting the pilot shortage and their regional location to best advantage by delivering training under the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF). Managing director/chief pilot Malcolm Sharp and director/chief instructor Peter Sobey founded Sharp Airlines in their Victorian hometown of Hamilton in 1990. Two men and a plane have grown to 70 staff and fleet of 15 craft flying freight, post and passengers to three southern states, and to Flinders Island exclusively. Experience counts Sharp’s airline pilot cadet course is the longestrunning of its kind in Australia and guarantees graduates a 9-month cadetship on completion of their studies. The growing business created the opportunity for a flying school, as Sharp must employ 12-14 junior...

Sea Swift – Trainee Profile

When George Dorante adds up the decade he’s worked for Sea Swift, a Cairns-based shipping company, he’s spent three years on land and seven years at sea. Dorante, 26, from Thursday Island (Waiben), is master of the Malu Chief, a six-crew, 42-metre, 270-tonne ship that hauls fuel and freight to the Torres Strait. His father had taken young George to sea in his work on a Sea Swift barge. “I liked the job, I liked the industry. It was fun,” Dorante says. “I loved the sea.” Dorante joined the company as a trainee out of school, progressing quickly to a coxswain’s ticket, then tickets for forklift, dogman and crane on coming of age. “All I was looking for was experience,” Dorante says. “I wanted to do everything. I wanted experience as a deckhand on a range of boats and Sea Swift has got that.” Every day you learn something different. Sea Swift sponsored his Certificate IV in Transport and Distribution (Coastal Maritime Operations), a national qualification developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC), to become a Master Class 4 ship captain. As Malu Chief’s captain, Dorante manages the ship: its crew, maintenance, route, schedules and customer service: “You’re a floating office, at the end of the day.” But when Dorante looks out his office window, he sees a different scene at each day’s end, steering the ship through the Torres’ tricky reefs and waters. Often the islands are too small to accommodate a dock, so Dorante drives the Malu Chief up a ramp or beach, dropping the huge cargo hold door to unload. “People say if...

Sea Swift

Sea Swift is Australia’s largest privately owned shipping company. In 25 years, the maritime enterprise has expanded from a seafood processing and distribution service to now deliver essential goods and services to remote communities in Australia’s northern waters. Sea Swift invests nearly $1.3 million in training annually with little external funding support, but the returns on its culture and credibility are priceless. Locally owned Sea Swift makes a significant contribution to the employment and skill development of local communities. In some locations 80 to 90% of the staff are local indigenous people. The Cairns-based marine distribution business delivers essential goods, services and people to dozens of remote communities in Australia’s northern waters, from Cape York Peninsula through the Torres Strait and on as far as Darwin. The award-winning company also delivers essential training to its 350 staff who work on 31 vessels and out of six main depots, some more than 1000 kilometres away, in roles as diverse as deckhand, warehousing, engineer, and ship captain. Sea Swift’s specialised and job specific training includes national qualifications developed by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC). The marine business won the Innovation and Excellence in Workforce Development Award – Maritime at the 2013 TLISC Awards for Excellence. “When we received notification of the inaugural Awards, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to showcase what we’ve been doing in training and development,” says Sea Swift’s human resources manager, Dan Erbacher. Erbacher says winning the TLISC award helped Sea Swift “crystallise the end goal” of continuing training and development and was a thrill for all company staff, seeing their hard work...

Brookfield Rail

Brookfield Rail controls over 5,100 kilometres of crucial rail infrastructure throughout the southern half of Western Australia. It is one of the few independent rail infrastructure providers in the world. With rail infrastructure experts on staff, who have a significant amount of experience, Brookfield Rail is brilliantly positioned to deliver expert training in-house. Valuable cargo The company’s network transports a wide range of commodities including grain, alumina, bauxite, iron ore and interstate freight – as well as passengers on the Perth to Kalgoorlie and Perth to Bunbury lines. Owned by a global asset management company, Brookfield Rail manages more than 5100km of open access rail infrastructure throughout the southern half of Western Australia. As the only network in the region providing access to export markets, vital commodities are transported on those tracks including iron ore, grain, minerals, bulk freight and even people. Positioning itself to benefit from the opportunities of a growing freight task, Brookfield Rail has taken direct action to address an industry wide skills shortage by bringing aspects of safety critical training in-house, and becoming a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) on the way. Thanks in part to its expansive operations geographically, Brookfield Rail had been frustrated in accessing the specific and unique training services they needed, when they needed them. “The primary reason for becoming an RTO was to ensure we could meet the unique training needs of our people and our industry,” says Brookfield Rail training coordinator Judy Reynolds. Brookfield Rail had such a significant amount of in-house knowledge and experience, it made sense to formalise that expertise under a nationally recognised qualification. Skills centre Brookfield...