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People's Choice Awards 2020

Category: Apprentice of the Year

Madison Candy

Madison CandyQualification: Certificate IV in Aeroskills (Mechanical)
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd

“Aviation is in my blood. My dad is a pilot so I’ve been around planes well before I could spell my name. Much to dad's dismay, I never wanted to fly planes, just fix them!”

Madison has always had a desire to pull things apart, understand how they work and fix them. This passion has led her to her dream career as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. When she started her apprenticeship with Jetstar in January 2016, her life changed dramatically.

“At the age of 18, I moved away from my family and friends to Newcastle. I was shy and homesick, but I was also excited to be starting a job I knew I would love. My apprenticeship forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I knew I needed to embrace this opportunity whole-heartedly in order to succeed.”

Madison was so thrilled about her new career that she finished the theory component of her apprenticeship before she started work.

Madison CandyMadison fitted into work life at Jetstar’s Newcastle Engineering Hangar instantly. She immediately gained respect among her colleagues and was praised by engineers for her knowledge. She was keen to learn everything there is to know about fixing an aircraft and was willing to help anyone – even if they didn’t need it!

“Teamwork, communication and trust are the three things that have helped me complete my apprenticeship,” says Madison. “The quality of training I’ve received from Jetstar has been second-to-none. I’ve been privileged to be mentored by some of the great minds of Jetstar’s maintenance team.”

Madison was awarded the peer-voted Jetstar First Year Apprentice Encouragement Award in 2016 and she won the Jetstar Apprentice of the Year Award in 2017.

Working in a male-dominated industry Madison seeks to inspire a new generation of female students. She was a volunteer Jetstar Ambassador for Women in the Workplace attending careers expos and school information sessions during her time off. She was also a mentor for the Jetstar High Flyers Program, which connects year 10 female students with female Jetstar employees, a participant in P-Tech, which provides students with a supported pathway to STEM qualifications, and a member of the Jetstar Apprentice Committee assisting in the advancement of training.

“I’m proud to be a female in this industry. I’ve had so many positive and rewarding experiences. I want to show young women and girls there are unlimited options inside trades and that life and work satisfaction have no boundaries.”

When Madison completed her apprenticeship early she was rewarded with a permanent Aircraft Maintenance Engineer role at Jetstar. She is now starting her Diploma in Aeroskills so she can become a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer.

“Looking back, I’d never imagine that I would be where I am today. My training has made me a better person – professionally and personally. I’ve gained newfound confidence and the tools to thrive in a high-pressure environment. I can’t believe I get to do what I love every day!”