How Airframe Assembly will lead you to a career
The Canadian aerospace industry is growing, and creating new careers to support that growth. One of the industry giants, Bombardier, has selected Centennial College as its trainer of choice in the manufacturing and maintenance of its aerospace products, and is about to create a new program to help you enter their industry faster, in the form of Airframe Assembly. Janna Erichsen is the Chair of Part-Time Learning for the School of Transportation, and one of the main architects of this new full-time program, thanks to her connections with Bombardier, which has been in a partnership with the College for years. It’s a single 12-week certificate program, full of practical skills, and if you work hard at it, represents a direct path into the industry. Here’s why, if you’re even a little bit interested in the aviation industry, you’ll want to take part.
The industry needs you
This new airframe assembly program was created to fill a need in the aviation industry, one that only new students can fill.
“There is a mass shortage right now for entry-level positions in airframe assembly,” Janna says, “because there’s a mass retirement going on. Also, the aerospace industry is very, very busy right now, so they’re ramping up. They need a lot of people.”
As for who those students are? “It’s for anybody who is mechanically inclined, likes working with their hands, and has a passion for Aircraft,” she says. “It’s a foot into the aerospace industry.” If that sounds like you, Airframe Assembly will give you the practical experience to get into the career field.
“Everything is basically simulating to get ready for work,” Janna says about the curriculum. “80 per cent of the course is hands-on.” These hands-on skills include riveting, drilling, blueprint-reading and working with sheet metal, along with other skills. But we give you more than just the skills. Thanks to our connection with Bombardier, we can give you a direct way into the industry, with the side bonus of possibly getting your tuition covered.
We give you a path to a career
“The interesting thing about this course that’s different from anything else,” Janna says, “is that any student who gets 85 per cent or higher, and has an offer from Bombardier will get their tuition repaid.” In other words, unlike most other college programs, a specific company is watching this specific program like a hawk, and specifically wants to hire its best students out of college.
“For students who get 85 or higher,” she adds, “Anyone who accepts an offer from Bombardier will get their tuition paid. So, pretty much at the end of the day if you’re willing to put the work in, there's a strong possibility for a job at the end.”
“It’s really a school-to-work program,” Janna continues, “and anyone who gets hired will go in with a starting rate of $24.75 an hour.”
As for what that career entails? “It’s an entry-level position for people doing what’s called structural assembly,” Janna explains, “so these are the people who are putting the airplanes together, riveting, drilling, working with the actual sheet metal.”
Why you want in
It’s rare for any program anywhere to offer such a direct path into an industry, through directly rewarding the hard work you put in while you learn.
“Bust your butt for 12 weeks, and you could have a career for life,” she adds. “It’s an incredible opportunity, because there’s not a lot of courses now where if you really work hard, you could end up moving into a full-time job.”
By Anthony Geremia