Work experience opportunities in regional areas can be very limited so an HMAS Albatross innovation fills a real need in the Shoalhaven community.
Designed to encourage local students to consider a career in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Australian Navy, the three-tier program offers Year 10 students a range of exciting experiences throughout the year.
In terms one and two, students visit the base for 'QuickLook' which provides a basic overview of the range of careers available in Naval aviation.
Those with a genuine interest come back for 'NextStep' in term three, where they learn about leadership and team building, how to write job applications and interview techniques.
Term four is when the 'LongLook' phase commences, and students wishing to participate in this intensive eight-week program must apply through a letter of application demonstrating their commitment, aptitude and enthusiasm.
Coordinator, Chief Petty Officer Glenn Smith said that while the program’s ultimate goal was to encourage students to consider a career in Naval aviation, another important consideration in the development of the program was the community service aspect.
“The students all receive tuition relevant to their indicated interest in Aircrew, Engineering or Aircraft Technician but the program was developed in consultation with local careers advisers to enhance the student’s employability skills.
“It covers communication, teamwork, planning, organising, technology, problem solving and self management, all invaluable skills that the students can apply to any type of work, not just the Navy," he said.
'LongLook' 2014 concluded with ten students delivering a presentation to Albatross Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Bateman, their instructors, families and Commodore Colin Lawrence,who was there in capacity of proud dad to graduating son Mitchell.
Another proud parent was Annie Nantus who said she was surprised, not only by the confidence her son, Nichlaas, demonstrated when talking about some of the more technical aspects of the program but the professionalism of the presentation.
“This has been a wonderful experience for Nichlaas, it’s given him a real sense of direction and a goal to work for. He has been through cadets but 'LongLook' gave him extra great insight into what you can do and be in the Navy. We are really lucky our children have access to such a quality program," she said.
The graduates also had high praise for the program.
“It has given me an in-depth look at Naval Aviation and made me more dedicated to follow my dream career, of being a pilot in the Royal Australian Navy," Mitchell Lawrence said.