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Flying high: Leif is lifting the aircraft maintenance workforce

Training and skills case study

Leif Mawson had dreams of taking to the sky from a young age. Fast forward several years and those dreams have come true – he has established a successful career in aviation.  

Leif started out trying different areas in the field, before settling into mentoring apprentices  as an aircraft maintenance engineer.

“I worked my way through the ranks as an aircraft maintenance engineer, progressed to a business advisor, and then became apprenticeship programme coordinator,” Leif says.

Leif Mawson case study

“I’ve been fortunate to meet so many people, watch them develop their skills in the industry and see them grow.”

Leif went on to become the National Technical Training Manager at Aviation Australia, the largest aircraft maintenance trainer in the country.

“I’m really passionate about training,” he enthuses. “In my experience, whenever you invest the time and effort into training people, you always get a return on your investment.”

Leif moved into a training position to help pave the way for a new generation of workers in the aircraft maintenance community.

As he puts it, “coming out of the pandemic period, aviation is probably one of the most significantly impacted industries. There are a lot of opportunities across the board, from apprenticeships right through to senior leadership positions.”

Throughout his 25 year career, Leif has seen the changes across the industry, from the supersonic travel of the Concorde, to a contemporary focus on reducing carbon emissions.  

Leif Mawson case study

He predicts a seismic shift in the next decade of aviation, and a need for training providers to be ready for it.

“As trainers, we’ve got to have our finger on the pulse,” he says. “It’s important that we’re constantly collaborating, partnering and maintaining open dialogue with other industry partners.”

Whether it’s through vocational education programs or open air showcasing of the mammoth 787 aircraft, Leif finds his fulfillment in the aviation community.

He notes how in Victoria, the community is finding a renewed sense of energy and growth. While he wouldn’t mind getting back into hands-on aircraft maintenance, a win for him is sharing knowledge.

“Everyone loves aeroplanes – they fascinate people, the science behind how they get off the ground, the sheer size,” he observes. “It’s always a highlight for me to share experiences and spark a deeper interest in the job.” 

Leif is now the General Manager of Bombardier Aerospace Australia’s hangar facility, located at Essendon Fields. This service centre provides aircraft maintenance for some of the most advanced corporate aircraft flying in Australian skies.