16 study avionics
By STACY MOORE Thursday, April 4 2013
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HIGH FLIERS: Lone female avionics trainee Homwatie Ramlal shows Tertiary Education and Skills Training Minister Fazal Karim the inner workings of a he...
HOMWATIE RAMLAL, the only woman in the Avionics Trainee Engineer Programme, yesterday said she felt privileged to be selected to a field of study once thought of being the domain of men.
“For me this is a privilege...I feel extremely honoured to be selected for this specialised field of study,” Ramlal said as she and 15 other graduates being requited to the first training programme of the Aviation Institute.
Speaking at the launch of the programme yesterday, Tertiary Education and Skills Training Minister Fazal Karim revealed that there is an acute shortage of persons involved in the aviation field.
Karim also said there was also a demand for persons in this sector globally. The launch of the Avionics Trainee Engineer Programme was held at the National Helicopter Services Limited’s hangar in Campden, Couva.
The programme saw 16 graduates being requited to the first training programme of the Aviation Institute including lone female Homwatie Ramlal.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed among the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL), National Helicopter Services Ltd (NHSL), Metal Industries Company Ltd (MIC), the TT Air Guard and the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) to give life to the programme.
The MoU was signed on May 18 last year, with the main objective being to enhance the supply of training and education in the specialised aviation sector. The sixteen trainees will embark on six months of training as they pursue the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Licence (AMEL) at a cost of $8,000. Minister Karim said there are opportunities for mechanics, technicians and engineers in the aviation field. He said there are opportunities for employment as people would be trained and certified to fill shortage in the supply of skilled and qualified persons within the aviation industry.
The minister said that his ministry is now seeking to have the avionics training programmes GATE (Government Assisted Tertiary Education) approved through the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).
Karim said the amount of money trainees have to pay differs to what is being charged abroad. In the next 90 days, Karim said, his ministry will launch the On-the-Job Training (OJT) Aviation programme.
“Why not have our young boys and girls being mentored in mechanics, engineering, electronics and painting...all of these are important,” Karim asked adding that the entry requirement for the OJT Aviation would be a minimum of three CSEC subjects.
Ramlal, 29, of Colonial Road in Barrackpore later led Minister Karim to the cockpit of a helicopter where she showed him the operations of the cockpit. Minister Karim appeared most impressed by Ramlal’s knowledge of avionics and said he hopes she could be an inspiration for other women to take an interest in this field of study.
Ramlal said she “somehow stumbled upon” the field of avionics and said the six month programme will qualify her and other trainees to acquire a licence to certify aircrafts. “Not any and everybody can certify an aircraft. It is a lot of hard work but it is what I have a passion for and will do to the best of my ability,” she said. Ramlal who works at Bristol Helicopters urged persons interested in the field to “go for it” as there is a lot such a job can offer.