THE JUMP START PROGRAM
Semester 2, 2015/2016: 10th October 2015 – 31st Jan 2016
Can I really make a career out of skydiving? The answer is yes! The skydiving industry is booming. Developments and advances in equipment, coupled with a burgeoning worldwide taste for excitement and adventure tourism have moved skydiving from a fringe hobby to a respectable career with truly international prospects and many serious opportunities for advancement. The demand for skilled and experienced individuals is far outstripping the traditional organic development of them. This fast-track program is designed to deliver to you the candidate the wealth of knowledge and skills you’ll need to start your successful and fruitful career in the most exciting industry around. The difficulty in finding people adequately trained to fill these positions led to the development of this fast track program which places you, the candidate, in a very favourable position when it comes to employability.
The aim of the Jump Start Program is to prepare candidates for employment in the specialist field of skydiving. Much of the course content has been designed and developed through Skydive Nagambie’s 17 year experience as a sport, tandem and student skydiving centre. It has close ties with many industry operators within Australia and overseas and as a direct response to requests from the industry operators has created the Jump Start Program.
The entire program consists of 15 learning weeks; 14 weeks are spent on the program attending lectures and jumping, the remaining week is spent touring the working environment of different commercial dropzones around Australia and have the opportunity to gain valuable experience and carry out further skydives. The dates of the program have been selected to coincide with the best weather conditions to guarantee that all jumps are completed.
In order to make our graduates highly employable we work very closely with our sports’ governing body the Australian Parachute Federation (APF) and our industry operators to ensure all important aspects of the commercial industry are covered within the Syllabus and that our students are going into the industry with the correct skills to be successful in their chosen career. The program, which is broken down into six modules, provides a balanced approach to your learning. A blend of theoretical and practical skills is spread out over the program period.
At the completion of the program you will have attained the following qualifications and achievements;
The only prerequisites you need prior to attending are;
Course dates for the 2015/2016 intake are Oct 10th to Jan 31st. Positions on the program are limited to a maximum of twelve, and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Applications close no later than September 11th 2015.
The growing skydiving industry offers a number of exciting career opportunities. The Jump Start Program is designed to give you a substantial start towards employment in this field. Each module specifically targets the areas in which to get started within the skydiving industry. Additionally, the introduction to drop zones will help you in your search for employment on completion of the course.
Every busy dropzone requires people who are skilled at packing tandem and individual parachute systems. Having a thorough knowledge in this field can help you in the introductory stages of your skydiving career. Parachute packing is often the initial stepping stone to a career in skydiving.
A Manifestor is the key person responsible for the dropzone’s efficient day to day coordination. A manifestor organises and records skydiving flights, teaming the correct staff and passengers together. They are the first point of contact a client has. Manifesting is often the busiest position on the dropzone and requires good people skills, careful planning and accuracy in transacting data.
Behind every breath-takingly beautiful photo of skydivers flying through the air is a highly skilled freefall cameraperson. To succeed in this field, you need a sound knowledge and appreciation of your equipment and you’ll need the flying skills to be exactly where you need to be when you need to be there.
Perfecting the freefall skills and mastering the technical knowledge are a substantial and integral part of the program. Once you’ve achieved your APF C licence and have accrued the necessary skills to work as a full time freefall camera person, you’ll find yourself one of the busiest people on the dropzone. In this role, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you rack up jump numbers which open the door to other, more advanced qualifications.
With the completion of every freefall DVD a DVD Editor adds the finishing touches to the cameraperson’s footage to complete the video package. This includes creating special effects between scenes and building the storyboard for that special event that is a customer’s first skydive. Modern dubbing suites are provided as the tools to create, edit and perfect the product.
AFF Jumpmasters and Instructors
It is a highly rewarding experience teaching students, using your knowledge to help develop their skills in skydiving. While working in the industry as a packer, DVD editor, camera flyer or even behind manifest, you’ll be building up the experience, knowledge and freefall skills necessary to become an AFF jumpmaster.
Experience as a jumpmaster can lead to the ultimate qualification of an Instructor. The minimum requirements to become an AFF Jumpmaster in Australia are a Packer B qualification; hold a Star Crest, an APF D Certificate and a minimum of 4 hours of freefall time.
Tandem Masters are in high demand at any commercial dropzone all over the world. Tourists and locals alike look to experience the thrill of tandem skydiving while in the capable hands of a tandem master. The more determined skydiver can gain this rating after 2 years. The minimum prerequisites required to qualify as a Tandem Master in Australia are a Packer B qualification, hold a Star Crest, and an APF E Certificate (500 freefall jumps and further specific requirements) Once you are employed as a freefall cameraperson, the required jump numbers to become a Tandem Master come quickly.
General dropzone duties ranging from dropzone preparation and maintenance, aircraft refuelling, bus driving, acting as Ground Control Assistant - relaying meteorological conditions as they change, and many other day to day operational duties. This role is one of the most vital key roles in keeping a busy dropzone running smoothly and safely.
Although not a part of the Jump Start Program, there may be some of you who already have your private pilot licence, GFPT or simply display a keen interest in flying aircraft. This program will place you in very good stead in the eyes of a potential employer if this is the direction you wish to take.
For those who appreciate the technical aspects of parachute packing this could be the career path for you. It is a busy and rewarding field as every drop zone needs to rely on the skills of their rigger to maintain and repair the equipment. This includes the inspection and repacking of reserve parachutes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are the qualifications from the Jump Start Program recognised in other countries?
Absolutely. The Jump Start Program is specifically designed to introduce candidates to employment in the international skydiving industry. It is conducted under the auspices of the Australian Parachute Federation (APF). On an international skydiving level the certificates and qualifications gained as components of the course are issued by the APF which complies with the international body for air sports, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). The standards of Australian instruction and the quality of Australian instructors are held in very high esteem internationally, making our certificates recognisable anywhere in the world. Certificate requirements can vary from country to country, but all of your skydiving achievements are transferable.
What are the benefits of doing the Jump Start Program over learning in my local dropzone?
Due to the consolidated timeframe of the program and the high levels of supervision, you will find there are many subjects which are covered from an early stage that would take a significant length of time to cover if you were to receive this training independently. You will be accommodated onsite over the course period with a group of like minded students totally immersed in the world of skydiving. You’ll learn and achieve much more in a shorter time period than would ever be possible with all the distractions at your local dropzone, ultimately saving you money and getting your career going faster. We believe this is an important and unique component to the Jump Start Program.
What can I expect at the end of the course?
You can expect a polished CV, with the jumping and technical skills to back it up, and the experience to carry you onto the staff rosters of dropzones all over the world. Prior to the development of this program, Skydive Nagambie has nurtured past students with a desire to succeed in the industry either in Australia or overseas. They have logged many thousands of skydives and gained their Tandem and AFF Jump Masters ratings and enjoy full time employment in the industry.
What is the earning capacity in the industry?
The earning capacity varies hugely depending on which dropzone you work in, how busy it is, whether it’s in a seasonal location, what sort of equipment you have and, of course, your personal drive.
For example graduates doing freefall camera work in Australia are earning from AU$22,000 to AU$45,000 per year; a tandem master could earn anywhere between AU$35,000 to AU$90,000 per year; a packer would earn upwards of $12 per parachute and a manifestor would be on an hourly wage of approx $15 per hour.
What is the purpose of the Drop Zones Tour?
We have a strong relationship with most commercial dropzones in Australia. The tour is an opportunity to consolidate your past 13 weeks of training and make comparisons with the training received with some of these commercial dropzones. The training to date will be generic to all types of parachute operations, on this tour we will see a large sports training centre, a busy commercial tandem only operation and a smaller sports and tandem coastal operation.
We find the tour to be an invaluable experience in giving students the opportunity to actually see how the Jump Start Program has prepared them to suit a variety of differing dropzones, and at the same time enjoy a light hearted jumping trip around some of Australia’s most scenic backdrops.
What are the benefits of learning to skydive in Australia?
It goes without saying that we have some of the world’s most stunning scenery and weather for skydivers to enjoy. The dates allocated for the 2013 intake aim to provide the best weather conditions in order for you to achieve the 200 training jumps and your subsequent D Licence. Furthermore, many international students also gain from exchange rate benefits when learning to skydive in Australia and rather than their home country; and with adventure activities being part of our culture, why would you learn anywhere else!
More information on facilities, accommodation, program costs, equipment and syllabus can be provided on the Jump Start Program. Ask for the course outline and application forms from Skydive Nagambie on firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook. To contact the Skydive Nagambie office directly call (International) + 61 3 57941466) during the office hours of 9am to 5pm EST. And remember that positions on the program are limited to a maximum of twelve, and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Applications close 15 September 2014.
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