On the 25th of October 2013, honoured guests, excited students, friends and members of the Flying Mission family gathered to celebrate the achievements of 11 students who were graduating from Flying Mission Services’ Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Training School (AMETS).
The ‘pilot project’ for the school began in 2004 and then was closed for a period whilst required accreditation and approvals were sought. It was reopened in 2010 after receiving approvals from the Botswana Civil Aviation Authority (CAAB), Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) and Tertiary Education Council (TEC) of Botswana. The two year diploma programme is the first and only aircraft maintenance training school in Botswana. After completing the programme, graduates become eligible to receive basic AME (Air Maintenance Engineering) licenses from the CAAB which enables them to seek employment as maintenance engineers as well as serving as foundation for all future license ratings.
During the course the students receive training applicable to both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, covering a wide range of subjects, with emphasis on developing practical skills. The programme combines theory and a considerable amount of “hands-on” practical training under the supervision of licensed maintenance Engineers. There is also a spiritual exploration aspect through Life-skill training and the ‘Alpha’ programme that is run for the entire school and gives students the opportunity to explore lifestyle issues and Christianity through presentations and group discussions.
AMETS has been recognized as a quality institution as evidenced by the approval of the above government regulating authorities which enables eligible Batswana students to be sponsored by the government. To date, there is a great demand for aviation technicians and engineers in Botswana so most AMETS graduates find jobs very quickly. Several graduates have already been absorbed by Flying Mission Services maintenance department while others have found jobs with other aircraft maintenance organizations in Botswana and some have opted for further studies in aircraft maintenance engineering. An employer of two previous AMETS Graduates stated:
“We would like to express our appreciation to Flying Mission for giving <the students> a chance to follow a dream in a local environment. We would like to see more young people following in their footsteps.”
The 2013 graduation was an enjoyable and well attended event which included an encouraging and challenging keynote speech from Mr. Kewagamang (Deputy Private Secretary in the ministry of Education and Skills Development) and from Flying Mission’s Patron, Dr. Malcolm McArthur. Our prayers are with the 2013 Graduates as they seek employment, apply their training in their work places, continue the learning process and model ethical and professional practice to their colleagues in the field.
For more information about the AMETS go to: flyingmission.org/ameschool.php