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airBRIDGE over troubled waters


Josh Englin relishes solving problems and creating order from chaos. He’s found the perfect career opportunity by becoming a cadet at Christchurch Airport. He’s also getting his money organised and is saving for a house. Here’s how he’s done it.

Raised in Kaiapoi, 19 year-old Josh had worked as a casual at the local Countdown since he was 15. Four years later when he finished school, he went permanent at the supermarket for six months – just until he could join the next intake of cadets kick-starting a career with Christchurch Airport’s airBRIDGE programme.

The airport held the same attraction for him as the supermarket: a passion for making life easier for people on the move in busy, often congested environments.

“I’ve always liked walking into a chaotic situation and smoothing it out,” says Josh.

“I’d see a full supermarket queue that I’d just want to clear by helping customers get through quickly. I saw the airport where passengers get lost or struggle to reach a flight on time as a great opportunity to step up on that.”

The cadetship is a terrific way for people with a fascination for airports to earn and learn on the job and launch a career as part of the operations team.

After nine months training on the job, Josh is due to successfully complete ServiceIQ’s qualification training programme, and gain: the NZ Certificate in Airport Operations with strands in Customer Service (Level 4), and Airport Safety (Level 4).

He’s covered a lot of ground air side and land side, including: security, airport operations protocols, communications, health and safety, customer service, and emergency management. And he leapt at the chance to get behind the wheel and qualify for the Airfield Driver License.

“We’re a bit like police of the tarmac. Naturally there are speed limits out there so one of things we do is make sure everyone is following the rules and staying safe.”

The cadets also learn how to provide a vehicle escort and what to do if there’s a crash on the runway.

Ultimately, Josh would like a role in airport security.

Each day 20,000 people flow in and out of the terminal. When long-haul flights land, there’s plenty of tired, disorientated passengers in need of a helping hand with luggage or getting through security.

Josh Englin circle “Everyone from mothers with young children or disabled people struggling with bags trying to figure out which aisle they need to be in,” he says.

The airport is not always a fun place to be. Not everyone is on holiday, and some are going to a funeral.

“If we can help make it easier for people to get to the right place at the right time it creates a good impression.”

From age 12, Josh wanted to buy his own house. Switch the number around and he’s pretty sure he’ll have the keys to the front door by the time he turns 21.

“I’d say training on the job is absolutely amazing. I’m someone who hasn’t been in debt and never wants to be. I’ve got savings, KiwiSaver, and career prospects. With university, you can’t guarantee you’ll get a job at the other end. Even if, with the cadet course, you might not get a job when you finish, but you’ll have skills and work experience that look good on a CV, and you’re not left with a loan to repay.”

Was the airBRIDGE Cadetship successful? You judge: in early 2019, Josh started full-time in aviation security.

For more information, please contact ServiceIQ on 0800 863 693 or email