Guangzhou firm trains recruits to be qualified mechanics

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 August, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 August, 1994, 12:00am

THE Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co (GAMECO) has embarked on a tailor-made, intensive training programme to turn new recruits into certified entry-level mechanics.

Selected candidates will undergo three to five months of English-language training and a three-month course covering ''basic'' and ''type'' training.

''Basic'' covers familiarisation with tools and fundamental aircraft knowledge, while ''type'' deals with the fleet's Boeing 737, 757 and 767 aircraft.

''These [so-called] 180-day wonders are helping us in a tight situation,'' said training manager Wan Fook-chuen.

''When China Southern, our largest customer and shareholder, is receiving one new jet per month, we must be able to keep up with the added workload.'' To date, 155 mechanics have passed through the course since it was launched 18 months ago.

After completing the course, mechanics are not granted a licence, they must work with licensed mechanics under strict supervision.

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) regulations require proof of at least four years' experience before granting a licence.

Licences are available in one of three categories: airframe and powerplant, electrical, and avionics. All mechanics who have undergone the initial programme aim to sit the CAAC licence test when they become eligible.

Although there is a shortage of mechanics, GAMECO is selective about who it recruits for the programme. All entrants must be high-school graduates and extensive mechanical aptitude and English tests are given. After this, candidates go through a stringent interview process.

Mr Wan has 33 years' experience, and leads a team of 10 technical and five English-language trainers. The whole crew has more than 100 years' combined experience in airline operations.

GAMECO performs all its training courses in-house, except for one course conducted at the Guangzhou Technical College.