Home / Diary of an Apprentice – Kitione Vunibokoi

Diary of an Apprentice – Kitione Vunibokoi

Apprenticeship, Asia Pacific, Australia, Maintenance

World Youth Skills Day celebrates the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. As we celebrate this, we take the opportunity to meet another apprentice as he progresses and develops his skills at Jet Aviation. This month, we meet with Kitione Vunibokoi, an apprentice in the avionics shop in Cairns, Australia, who explains how he came to this career and what he has learned so far.

Hi Kitione, thanks for taking the time to offer us an insight into life as an apprentice in the Cairns avionics shop.

Firstly, what inspired you to work at Jet Aviation?
I am originally from Fiji but moved to Australia with my family when I was young. I am now a Cairns local and love it here. Aviation itself is a large interesting industry, one that has fascinated me for a long time, especially as I have been interested in avionics since young. Working for Jet Aviation also means there is a range of opportunities for me to learn from their MRO & workshops operations. 

I graduated from Aviation Australia with a Certificate IV in Avionics with the intention of pursuing an apprenticeship. There were no apprenticeships available then, so I joined the industry as aviation ground crew which was a great starting point into the aviation industry. That role as an aviation ground handler with Aus Flight Handling nurtured my interest in aviation and confirmed that this is where I wanted to forge a career.  I know that there is always room to grow within this industry. 

What’s it is like being an older apprentice?
I know that apprenticeships normally start around 18/19 years of age. I feel with life experience under my belt I was able to make a more mature decision about what I wanted as a career compared to my 18-year-old self. As an older apprentice, I also feel I am more ready and better equipped for a career in this field. 

Why the Avionics Shop?
I’ve always been curious about the advancement of technology within the field of aviation. To me, this is the best apprenticeship opportunity where I can learn more and develop my skills. Here, I'm part of a small team working on tasks which the Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) assigns us. The LAME is available to assist and provide guidance and support where necessary and this interaction helps me to improve my skills and knowledge. I take pride in being able to do better with each new job. 

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“I get the most satisfaction out of carrying out a task successfully and completing it as a team. Knowing that you are part of a team that is bigger than just yourself and what you have done individually, is very rewarding. “

What aspects do you enjoy the most, and what’s the most challenging?
I get the most satisfaction out of carrying out a task successfully and completing it as a team. Knowing that you are part of a team that is bigger than just yourself and what you have done individually, is very rewarding. On the flip side, completing tasks within their allocated time frame can sometimes pose challenges, bearing in mind that English is not my native language. 

Was there anything that surprised you about the job?
The whole team I work with surprised me…… Everyone has been so helpful, from Structures, Mechanical and especially Avionics. Everyone has played a part in assisting me with my development and training in my Avionics Apprenticeship. 

What advice do you have for someone starting an apprenticeship?
Always have the willingness to learn more and approach every situation with an open mind. 

Where do you see yourself in a few years’ time?
I see myself having successfully completed my apprenticeship and working towards becoming a LAME. I’m looking forward to gaining more experience and potentially traveling the world with my aviation career. 

Can you share with us a little about what you do outside of work?
I do enjoy spending time with friends and family, as well as playing for a Local Rugby Union Club – Cairns Wanderers. I love being involved in team sports. Being part of a team helps you develop many transferable skills that can help you with all aspects of your life. For example, the ability to work and communicate as a team, the ability to adapt to different environments and the ability to adapt to and handle difficult situations whilst maintaining a level head, just to name a few.

Thank you Kitione, and all the best to your career in aviation!


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