SKY'S THE LIMIT: Melissa Strong is an Aviation Protection Officer at Ballina airport and a TAFE NSW aviation teacher, while three of her four daughters work for big airlines.
SKY'S THE LIMIT: Melissa Strong is an Aviation Protection Officer at Ballina airport and a TAFE NSW aviation teacher, while three of her four daughters work for big airlines. Supplied

Sky high jobs for aviation family

A NOTHERNS Rivers family is championing TAFE NSW Wollongbar for its quality aviation courses.

Ballina resident Melissa Strong and her daughters are well aware of the fantastic career opportunities.

Melissa is an Aviation Protection Officer at Ballina airport and a TAFE NSW aviation teacher, while three of her daughters work for big airlines.

Ms Strong said with job prospects in rural areas being limited she would like to encourage people of all ages to take-up learning opportunities at TAFE NSW Wollongbar and Kingscliff that can lead to a great career in aviation.

"I had always wanted to work in aviation but thought I was too old at 47, I'd been in customer service for 11 years and wanted a change so I looked through TAFE NSW courses," she said.

"Now three of my four daughters are in aviation we speak the same language.

"Sabine is a Tigerair flight attendant based at Brisbane airport, Shelby is a Jetstar Airways flight attendant based at Newcastle airport and Sunny is a check-in agent for Oceania Aviation, which has the contract to manage Jetstar flights at Ballina."

Ms Strong said she completed the Certificate IV in Aviation Supervision in 2014.

"I scored my aviation protection job then decided I wanted to teach too, so I did the relevant study to be qualified there to do that," she said.

"One of the most important aspects about all of TAFE NSW training is that we provide realistic learning experiences in simulated environments."

TAFE Wollongbar's excellent live-site training includes an operating x-ray machine, security screening point and a purpose-built simulated aircraft cabin.

"We also enjoy the privilege of aviation industry speakers imparting their knowledge to our students and we undertake regular excursions to local airports," Ms Strong said.

"The sky really is the limit with the right direction and skills."

Recent TAFE NSW research showed 71 per cent of aviation employers have recently reported a skills shortage over the past 12 months.

The top five in demand vacancies

1. Trainers/Instructors of all types,

2. Pilots,

3. Maintenance Engineers/Technicians,

4. Avionic/Software Engineers

5. Aerodrome Reporting Officers.

Visit www.tafensw.com.au or call 131 601.