About Us

Pilot Cadet Program

Thank you for your interest in the Virgin Australia Cadet Pilot Program. We do not anticipate that we will be running at 2014 /2015 program, please continue to check back here regularly for the most up to date information as it becomes available.

Following the success of our inaugural program in 2012, Virgin Australia continues to change the face of the Australian aviation landscape through the program in partnership with Flight Training Adelaide (FTA).

The Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet Program is a unique opportunity to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of this iconic brand, and to become a part of a dynamic company that genuinely believes and demonstrates our people are our greatest asset.

We seek candidates who are motivated and committed to excel through a challenging and demanding training program. Successful Cadet’s will demonstrate well established analytical skills, high attention to detail, well developed problem solving ability together with a commitment to achieving high results.

Commencing a career as a Commercial Pilot requires a high level of dedication and passion. In return for this you will be placed in a world class training program and will receive the benefits of working with an internationally recognised flight training school.

To assist you with the transition to a career as a Pilot, you will be assigned a mentor to provide you with guidance and advice. Your mentor has been selected from our highly experienced & high performing Pilot group.

Once you successfully complete the program, you can look forward to a career within the Virgin Australia team taking off on the ATR or F50 in our regional fleet as a First Officer.

We recommend you review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) prior to commencing an application to ensure you understand the requirements of the course and role of a Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet.

Virgin Australia is not currently accepting applications. We do not anticipate that we will be running at 2014 /2015 program, please continue to check back here regularly for the most up to date information as it becomes available.

Should you have any further queries once you have read the FAQs please email cadetprogram@virginaustralia.com.

 

Length of the program

Our 55 week residential course is conducted by our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield Airport, SA.

Syllabus Content

Our course is designed to meet CASA’s requirements to achieve a Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR) as well as the ground theory subjects for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and a Virgin Australia specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program. Syllabus content can be found below;

180 hours flying comprising:

  • 150 hours single engine (80 hours dual, 70 hours solo)
  • 30 hours Multi Engine Dual 

84.5 Hours simulator training comprising:

  • 11.5 hours PTT
  • 24 hours Frasca simulator
  • 18 hours DA42 simulator
  • 32 hours (16PF/ 16PM) Jet simulator

893 hours ground theory training comprising:

  • 528 hours towards a Commercial Pilot License and Instrument Rating
  • 320 hours towards an ATPL
  • 45 hours Mass Briefs

Instructors

FTA employs very highly qualified full time Instructors.

Ground Theory Instructors have a variety of backgrounds that are perfectly suited to the subjects they teach. Instructors come from either an airline and/or military background providing an unparalleled depth of experience.

Flight training is delivered using Grade 2 and Grade 1 Flight Instructors with a ratio of 3 students per Instructor.

All Jet Simulator Instructors have extensive airline commercial operational experience and have held a training role within their respective airlines.

Aircraft

During the Single Engine phase of training you will be operating either the Socata TB10 aircraft or the Diamond DA40 aircraft.

During the Twin Engine phase of training you will be flying the Diamond DA42 Twinstar aircraft.

Qualifications

On completing the course you will have gained the following qualifications:

  • CASA Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • CASA Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • CASA Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR)
  • CASA Theory credits for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
  • Virgin Australia specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program
  • Diploma in Aviation
  • 24 Credits towards a Commerce Degree with the University of Adelaide

Accommodation

All Cadets will be accommodated at FTA’s facilities. Accommodation facilities are located within safe campus grounds with no need for transportation from the room to program classrooms, simulators or aircraft parking apron.

FTA’s cleaning team will change linen once a week with rooms cleaned twice a week. Additionally, there are free of charge laundry facilities on campus.

Cadets are accommodated in blocks of 4 or 6 Cadets per block. Each cadet will have a private room and shared toilet/shower facilities as well as a lounge area with Internet wireless coverage.

3 meals a day are provided with the accommodation.

VET FEE-HELP

FTA is a Skills for All approved provider. Skills for All is a subsidy issued by the South Australian Government and said subsidy can be used towards funding your MECIR. To check if you are eligible for this subsidy, please go to http://www.skills.sa.gov.au/for-training-providers/skills-for-all-training-providers/student-eligibility-criteria.

The Skills for All subsidy will not cover the full MECIR fees. However, you can use VET FEE-HELP funding towards the remaining fees in the MECIR that are not covered by Skills for All.

In the event that you are eligible for the Skills for All subsidy, you will be exempt from the 20% interest charge attached to the VET FEE-HELP loan funds you are using towards the ME CIR.
 

FTA is a VET FEE-HELP approved provider. VET FEE-HELP will contribute up to $96,000 from Post PPL to gaining an MECIR. It should be noted that VET FEE-HELP funding is a stand-alone funding arrangement. If you have incurred any HECS debt through your tertiary studies, this debt does not contribute towards the $96,000 fund. 

Thank you for your interest in the Virgin Australia Cadet Pilot Program. We do not anticipate that we will be running at 2014 /2015 program, please continue to check back here regularly for the most up to date information as it becomes available.

Prerequisites for Program Entry

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Passport holder with a minimum of 18 months validity
  • Completion of High School with high level achievements in the Sciences (preferably Physics), Advanced Maths and English (if these subjects were not undertaken at school, an equivalent bridging course with high level achievements must have been completed)
  • Ability to successfully obtain an ASIC (Aviation Security Identification Card) 
  • None to limited flying experience up to Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL)
  • A strong passion for aviation and a career as a pilot
  • A commitment to and excellent understanding of the requirements and obligations of the Pilot Cadet program

Educational documentation/certificates

You will require the following certified documentation by a Justice of Peace to complete your online application. We will also require the registration number of the Justice of Peace.

  • High School certificate and academic transcript 
  • Completed secondary education (i.e. Australian Year 12) certificates showing subjects studied and results achieved
  • Bridging Course certificate/s, if applicable 
  • Completed Bachelor’s Degree certificate and academic transcript, if applicable 
  • Evidence of approved Degree level subjects currently being undertaken, if applicable
  • Pilot log book and training notes, if applicable
  • Copy of CASA Prerequisite Report, for candidates that have sat any CASA examinations. This document can be obtained by contacting CLARC on 131 757
  • Australian Passport copy (photo page only), or Permanent Residents Visa
  • Australian Drivers Licence copy
  • CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate, if applicable
  • CASA Multi-Page Pilot Licence, if applicable
  • Cover Letter and Resume
     

Virgin Australia reserves the right to sight your original documents during the recruitment process.

Candidates are encouraged to research the Aviation industry, Virgin Australia and Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) websites to ensure you are appropriately prepared for the extensive interview and selection process. 

We will be assessing individuals against the Virgin Australia Values following criteria:

  • Motivation
  • Team orientation
  • Aviation and business knowledge
  • Technical knowledge
  • Communication skills

The process involves:

  • An initial application submitted online via our Careers page
  • Short-listed candidates will be invited to complete psychometric and cognitive testing
  • Candidates who meet the minimum benchmark and requirements will be invited to attend an Assessment Day. The Assessment Day will include various activities including:
    • Group activities
    • One on one interviews
  • If your application is progressed from the Assessment Day you will be required to complete Flight Screening, including manipulation skills and spatial awareness.  
  • Progressed candidates from Flight Screening will be invited to attend a Panel Interview
  • Final management review of applicants
  • Reference checks
  • Medical assessment
  • ASIC application and eligibility confirmation 

Please note that the steps outlined above are subject to change and may vary for each candidate.

All Cadets are employed directly by Virgin Australia and paid a competitive remuneration package for the duration of the Cadet Training Program. This remuneration package is to assist with FTA accommodation and food costs. Our Cadets will also have access to benefits which include access to the Virgin Australia staff travel program and assistance with the costs associated with obtaining you Commercial Pilot’s Licence.

Following successful completion of the Cadet Training Program and meeting all the requirements of the role, you will be offered a permanent role within the Virgin Australia group and will be employed under the applicable agreement as a First Officer on the ATR or F50.

Throughout the Cadet Program you will be assigned a Virgin Australia group Pilot Mentor to provide you with non-technical support to assist you with your transition into your career as a Commercial Pilot.

Further details regarding terms of employment and remuneration will be provided throughout the recruitment process.

When do applications open for the Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet Program?

Thank you for your interest in the Virgin Australia Cadet Pilot Program. We do not anticipate that we will be running at 2014 /2015 program, please continue to check back here regularly for the most up to date information as it becomes available.

What are the minimum requirements I need to apply for the Pilot Cadet Program?

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Australian Ccitizen or Permanent Resident
  • Passport holder with a minimum of 18 months validity
  • Completion of High School with high level achievements in the Sciences (preferably Physics), Advanced Maths and English (if these subjects were not undertaken at school, an equivalent bridging course with high level achievements must have been completed)
  • Ability to successfully obtain an ASIC (Aviation Security Identification Card) 
  • None to limited flying experience up to Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL)
  • A strong passion for aviation and a career as a pilot
  • A commitment to and excellent understanding of the requirements and obligations of the Pilot Cadet program.

What working rights must I hold to be eligible for the program?

All applicants must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. For further details regarding working rights in Australia we recommend you visit the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and citizenship website http://www.immi.gov.au/. Please note Virgin Australia cannot offer sponsorship or advice on gaining working rights.

Do I need to have any flying experience to apply for the Pilot Cadet program?

Flying experience is not a requirement; however, some flying experience would be valuable up to PPL level. If you hold a Commercial Pilot’s Licence or higher you will not be eligible for this program as it is structured as an Ab Initio course.

I have completed Year 12, however am unsure if my achievements in Science, Maths and English are high enough. Can you provide advice?

Due to the variations in the national education syllabus we are unable to provide specific feedback to individuals on level of achievement or subjects undertaken at school. Based on the data provided by our training provider FTA, given their extensive experience in training pilot cadets, the ideal candidate profile includes high level achievements in Advanced level Maths, English and the sciences (preferably Physics) as these subjects build a foundation for developing good cognitive ability.

I have completed Year 12 and did not study Science, Maths and/or English, should I complete a bridging course and which one should I study to increase my eligibility?

To apply for the Pilot Cadet Program applicants must be able to demonstrate high level achievements in Advanced Maths, English and the sciences (preferably Physics). We are not able to provide information about what type of bridging course to complete due to the variations in the national education syllabus. However, you will be required to show completion of these subjects if not undertaken at school. 

I am at High School and would like advice on subjects to select; can you tell me what I should study?

You should seek advice from your school teacher/s or career counsellors who can help regarding which subjects to select. The ideal Pilot Cadet candidate profile includes high level achievements in Advanced Maths, English and the sciences (preferably Physics) as these subjects build a foundation for developing good cognitive ability.

Do you only accept applications for the Pilot Cadet program online?

Yes, only applications received online will be considered.

Who will be involved in the selection process?

The selection process will include representatives from the Flight Operations Department, Pilot Cadet Program Working Group, Virgin Australia’s People Team and Flight Training Adelaide.

How long will the selection process take?

The selection process is expected to take 8 - 12 weeks from the close of advertising.

You will receive notification if you have been short listed to participate in our assessment process within four to six weeks of the application close date.

Can I ask for feedback on my application if I am not progressed throughout the recruitment process?

Due to the high interest and number of applications we receive, it is not possible to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants throughout our process. We encourage candidates to reflect on their application and review our program requirements.

Is the course available as a full-time course only, or could I take all or parts of it on a part-time basis?

This is a full-time course only.

Can I complete a shorter course if I already have a PPL?

No. All Cadet Pilots on the Pilot Cadet program will complete the full course of training. Recognition of prior learning may be recognised, however it is an expectation that candidates will start the course at the same level.

How long will I spend away from home during the Program?

You will spend approximately 55 weeks with our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield Airport, SA.

 

Do I have to live onsite at FTA during the program?

 

Yes, it is a requirement for student Cadets to live on site due to the high study demands benefits gained through contact with other students at FTA. In FTA's extensive experience in training successful cadets they have found this environment to be the most conducive to the results required of cadets.  

Will I have the opportunity to go home during the Program?

During the program you will have the opportunity for days off. This is, however, dependent on the training schedule, course progress and personal circumstances.

What type of qualifications will I receive from successfully completing the Pilot Cadet program?

  • CASA Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • CASA Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • CASA Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR)
  • CASA Theory credits for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
  • Virgin Australia Regional Airline specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program.
  • Diploma in Aviation
  • 24 Credits towards a Commerce Degree with the University of Adelaide

Will I be guaranteed a role with Virgin Australia at the end of the Pilot Cadet program?

Pilot Cadets, who successfully meet all requirements of the course and meet all the Virgin Australia Behaviour Standards and Terms of Employment, will be offered a permanent role as a First Officer.  Placements on the ATR or F50 depend on operational requirements at Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA).

Where will I be based at the end of the Program?

Please note that Virgin Australia reserves the right to allocate your base at any port within the Virgin Australia network due to operational requirements.  The role of First Officer on the ATR or F50 have bases allocated at Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney. Flexibility to relocate to any of the above bases is essential to be considered for the role.

What is the total cost of the training and how much is the cadet expected to contribute towards training?

The FTA program allows a successful cadet to access VET FEE-HELP to fund the program. VET FEE-HELP will contribute up to $74,000  from Post PPL to gaining an MECIR. Virgin Australia will advance fees for training costs pre PPL and these costs will be paid back via a salary sacrifice arrangement once you have completed the course.

It should be noted that VET FEE-HELP funding is a stand-alone funding arrangement.

What career progression can I expect in Virgin Australia?

Once you have the minimum requirements required for other Pilot roles within the Virgin Australia Group you will be eligible to apply for other opportunities.

Am I bonded for a period of time?

Following an offer of permanent employment post training, you will work for Virgin Australia in our regional operation and will be bonded for three years. If you are successful in gaining a role on the Jet operation with Virgin Australia after this time you will be bonded for an additional three years. Cadets who resign within this period will be required to repay the outstanding amount (pro rata) of their training.

What if I fail a component of the program?

 

Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd. is an experienced training provider who will endeavour to ensure you receive the appropriate development to meet the required standard. If you require additional training to meet these standards this will be discussed at the time, and a tailored development program may be produced.

If you fail to meet the requirements of the course, your place on the Virgin Australia Cadet Program will be reviewed alongside the Terms of Employment outlined in your contract. 

What if I chose to withdraw from the program?

Cadets who withdraw during the program will be required to repay the training costs that have been incurred at the point of resignation.

If I am successful in being invited to attend an assessment centre what will I need to bring?

You will be given full details of what you need to bring with you prior to your attendance at an Assessment Day.

What if I am unable to attend my Assessment Day?

Assessment Days will be held on specific days at each port. If you are unable to attend the Assessment Day at your closest port you may have the opportunity to attend at a different port. This however will be at your own cost and will be subject to Assessment Day availability. If you cannot attend an Assessment Day you will have to withdraw your application and reapply for the following year.

Please note that there are many stages to the recruitment process and you will be required to make yourself available for each assessment.  .

Are there expenses involved in participating in the selection process?

There is no fee associated with submitting an application, however you may be asked to pay for the costs associated with obtaining a CASA Class 1 Medical and a Pre-employment Drug & Alcohol Screen, this will be discussed with you as required.

Will Virgin Australia assist with travel and expenses during the recruitment process?

If you are invited to attend an Assessment Day, you will be required to make your own arrangements to attend, at your own cost.

What should I wear for the selection process?

We are looking for people who will role model Virgin Australia brand and uniform standards. Therefore, we expect candidates to attend wearing appropriate business attire.

How do I obtain CASA Class 1 Medical and when should I do this?

While you are not required to hold a CASA Class 1 Medical prior to being selected on to the Pilot Cadet program it would assist in preventing delays in processing your application, should you be successful.

To commence the Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet program you will be required to hold a valid CASA Class 1 medical.

The CASA Class 1 medical process take approx. 3 hours and involves; the application for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), a medical examination, an audiogram, a blood test, an ECG and an ophthalmic report. These tests are conducted by Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAME and a DAO or DAEE). To find more information please go to www.casa.gov.au. To find your nearest DAME please go to www.casa.gov.au/avmed/search.htm where a search can be made within your particular state.

I have a medical condition and am concerned I may not be eligible for a Class 1 medical, how do I find out more?

To enter training, a cadet must hold a valid Class 1 Medical Certificate. If you are unsure whether your medical condition may affect your ability to hold a Class 1 Medical Certificate, contact a DAME for professional advice.

Information about medical certification can be obtained from: www.casa.gov.au/manuals/regulate/dame/index.htm.

Can I still qualify if I wear glasses and/or contact lenses?

The wearing of glasses and/or contact lenses does not automatically prevent you from obtaining a Class 1 medical certificate. Full details of the eyesight requirements are also available at www.casa.gov.au.

I have a criminal record. Am I eligible for the Cadet Training Program?

If you have been convicted, found guilty or subject to proceedings for criminal or motor vehicle offences, this may affect your eligibility to be issued with an ASIC. Employment with Virgin Australia will be conditional on being eligible to hold an ASIC and if you fail to be issued with an ASIC or authority to hold an ASIC is withdrawn, withdrawal from the program or termination of your employment may result.

If you have been cautioned, warned or convicted of a criminal offence (this could include traffic or parking offences) we suggest you check whether you will be able to obtain an ASIC by visiting www.casa.gov.au.

If I am unsuccessful for this program can I apply to future programs?

If you are unsuccessful for this program, however meet all of the selection criteria, you are welcome to reapply for future programs. Opportunities to apply for future programs will be advertised on the Virgin Australia Careers website.

I am a current employee of the Virgin Australia group. If successful for this program will I be seconded to the training provider for the duration of my flight training and be employed under the terms and conditions of the Cadet Pilot program?

Yes.

I have read your FAQs and have some additional queries, who should I contact?

Please email cadetprogram@virginaustralia.com with any additional queries.