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EASA V CASA B1 licence

Old 26th Mar 2018, 15:44
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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EASA V CASA B1 licence

So basically I was wondering which is the easiest or the best way to get you B1 licence, is it easier to stay in the UK, complete your modules, get you experience, attain your B1 and then go for your type rating, before looking at job in Australia, or is it easier to move to Australia, and do the same approach down under?

From what I've looked around and found is:
In Australia
  • You need an approval to be a fitter, where as in the UK as long as you have the relevant experience, an then induction training, HF, SFAR, anyone can do it.
  • If you hold a EASA B1 licence, you need to do a conversion exam in order for it to be recognized by CASA, im not sure whether if you fail the conversion exam your Visa application fails too?, or whether you can still get a visa as a mechanic/fitter?
In the UK
  • In some ways its easier to complete modules in the UK, especially if you have been on a Part 147 course.
  • A UK EASA B1 licence is generally well regarded around the world.

I know from the BBC's Wanted Down Under a licenced engineer can get around 10k to 20k more in Australia than staying in the UK, whilst a mechanic gets around 5k to 10k more, but you also have the cost of applying for the visa, relocation costs, flights, buying a car, increased cost of electric, food, water & taxes and of course no NHS.

Anyway would be great to hear other peoples thoughts or even anyone else who has experience of this.
airsouthwest is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2018, 12:44
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by airsouthwest View Post
So basically I was wondering which is the easiest or the best way to get you B1 licence, is it easier to stay in the UK, complete your modules, get you experience, attain your B1 and then go for your type rating, before looking at job in Australia, or is it easier to move to Australia, and do the same approach down under?

From what I've looked around and found is:
In Australia
  • You need an approval to be a fitter, where as in the UK as long as you have the relevant experience, an then induction training, HF, SFAR, anyone can do it.
  • If you hold a EASA B1 licence, you need to do a conversion exam in order for it to be recognized by CASA, im not sure whether if you fail the conversion exam your Visa application fails too?, or whether you can still get a visa as a mechanic/fitter?
In the UK
  • In some ways its easier to complete modules in the UK, especially if you have been on a Part 147 course.
  • A UK EASA B1 licence is generally well regarded around the world.

I know from the BBC's Wanted Down Under a licenced engineer can get around 10k to 20k more in Australia than staying in the UK, whilst a mechanic gets around 5k to 10k more, but you also have the cost of applying for the visa, relocation costs, flights, buying a car, increased cost of electric, food, water & taxes and of course no NHS.

Anyway would be great to hear other peoples thoughts or even anyone else who has experience of this.
I think you are getting a few things mixed up, especially with the Visa part. Your visa would not be dependent on your holding a Licence necessarily - unless you are going State sponsored maybe. If you are applying for your visa as a Skilled Emigrant, then your training/apprenticeship and work history documents should suffice to get Trades Recognition as an Aircraft Engineer (if that is still the process). I'm pretty sure it is no longer on the ODL either though so you would not get additional points towards a Visa.

Essentially an EASA licence down here is not much use unless you get an outstation job with a European carrier such as........well just BA actually. To get an outstation position with any carrier you need extensive experience on the types they operate on their Oz routes. The company I currently work for (3rd Party MRO) recognises my EASA Licence, but it restricts what airline/aircraft approval I can get depending on where the airlines' home base is and what licences they recognise.

To sign off any VH reg aircraft in Australia you need to have a CASA Licence.

To convert an EASA Licence to CASA is basically submitting your Licence, Company Type approvals and work history to an approved training organisation for assessment. Based on their judgement, you will have to sit at least Module 10 (Air Leg) and maybe a couple of sub-modules. Once you have jumped through the hoops they submit your assessment to CASA for grant of a licence. Getting a CASA Licence is nothing to do with you holding an Australian Residency Visa. Have a look into Cert IV in Aeroskills which is essentially an ab-initio, un-licenced qualification, but to study for that here you would need some sort of Student Visa I think.

As for the bit about wages and such like. Potentially yes we do get more.....depending on the exchange rate though. The cost of living is also far higher as well which effectively cancels out any difference. Unless you have a lot of experience, your job prospects in the airline world are just about zero. There are jobs available in the GA, helicopter and component overhaul sectors, but GA/Helo is notoriously low paid and possibly geographically remote. Having said that, I put a job out recently and the standard of applicants was dreadful (nobody with large, line maint type experience, poor CV and presentation), but that is probably getting to be a worldwide problem with the growing shortage in qualified and experienced Engineers. To get employment you also need a Residency Visa, or a company sponsored "457", but they have been tightened up recently and most companies would not do that unless you have specialist skills or experience. To get an idea of the type of jobs for AME/LAME here, have a look at www.seek.com.au . Contracting is virtually unheard of here, with most companies with a short term/flexible recruiting requirement employing Casuals i.e. zero hour contracts.

Overall, from your initial info, I would say stay in the UK, get some experience (you don't really say how much/what you have got in the industry), get your EASA Licence with Types sorted if the Licensed route is the one you want. Go for Skilled Emigrant Visa (which in itself can take a couple of years, or did when I did mine about 15 years ago), then look at coming over. But do not expect to get a Licence position until you have converted your Licence to CASA.

(Medicare is the universal health care system here equivalent to the NHS, but you back it up with Private Medical Insurance which is about GBP150 p/m depending on level of cover)
Tom Sawyer is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2018, 15:56
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Thank you for your help & advice Tom, that was incredibly useful. It has definitely given me some food for thought.

Last edited by airsouthwest; 27th Mar 2018 at 19:55.
airsouthwest is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2018, 08:52
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Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
Contracting is virtually unheard of here, with most companies with a short term/flexible recruiting requirement employing Casuals i.e. zero hour contracts.
Contracting is very common in Australia, to the detriment of actually being able to find full time jobs.
Kiwiconehead is online now  
Old 28th Mar 2018, 18:15
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Originally Posted by Kiwiconehead View Post
Contracting is very common in Australia, to the detriment of actually being able to find full time jobs.
Sounds very similar to the UK Kiwiconehead, From personal experience, I seem to have a lot of recruitment agencies calling me up offering "amazing opportunities", I don't take much notice of them. Although finding a permanent job seems to hard work, at least you have more rights, where as contracting they can drop you at any moment.
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