Home / Diary of an Apprentice: Thomas Duff

Diary of an Apprentice: Thomas Duff

APAC, Apprenticeship, Australia, Defence, Maintenance

We speak with Thomas Duff, who recently completed an Apprenticeship and is part of a high performing team responsible for maintenance of defence aircraft, used for pilot training. He began his work experience with us in Brisbane and is now operating as B2 Maintenance Engineer in East Sale, Australia.

Hi Thomas, thank you for taking the time to offer us an insight into your interesting parcours.

Tom, can you give us a summary of the Apprenticeship you have recently completed?
I have completed a Diploma of Aeroskills (Avionics). It started in Brisbane, Queensland, with an approved training provider, where I completed several practical and theoretical modules. I then applied with Jet Aviation in East Sale who took me on and gave me the opportunity to complete my apprenticeship. At completion I gained a CASA B2 License and am approaching readiness for DASA B2 License.

How did it feel to complete an apprenticeship?
It felt very satisfying to get my last assessments signed off, but at the same time I was excited to be able to use my diploma after putting a lot of hard work into completing it.

What was it like being an apprentice, were there any challenges?
Working and learning in the hangar environment under such a supportive team really helped me develop myself into a competent tradesperson. I was and am learning new skills every day. Studying did have its challenges, as I’m a very hands-on learner, but being able to do study and work at the same time allowed me to put theory into practice.


“Working and learning in the hangar environment under such a supportive team really helped me develop myself into a competent tradesperson. Our workplace culture is great which makes the tough jobs that much easier.”

What advice do you have for someone starting an apprenticeship?
Don’t worry about trying to learn everything straight away. Develop a grasp of the basics first, and then you’ll become more confident as you increase your skill base. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Which aspects do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy working on a modern aircraft with integrated aircraft systems. I love troubleshooting faults, then problem solving for a solution to fix the issue. Our workplace culture is great which makes the tough jobs that much easier.


What has been the most challenging????????
Keeping track of all the maintenance documentation, rules and regulations. It took some time to get the hang of, especially in such a safety focused environment.

When you started your apprenticeship journey, how did it feel choosing a different route to other people at your age in your region????????
Leaving school early to start this apprenticeship was a bit daunting, but knowing I wanted a trade and pursuing that was an exciting step to take.

Where do you see yourself in a few years’ time????????
I see myself staying in the aviation industry working as a licensed maintenance engineer.

Can you share your hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy cooking and making meals from scratch, going mountain biking and hanging out with my friends.


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