According to the recent survey released by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), very few of its members take relevant measures to attract, train and retain employees. About 14% of the surveyed repair stations stated that their company served on an advisory board at a technical school, and 25.8% participated in on-campus recruitment programs. Just over 5% granted scholarships to the existing students, 25% hired student interns and only 8.6% ran a mentoring program. 57 % of the ARSA members claimed that they had had difficulty filling in technical positions in the past two years, and 65% expected their business and markets to grow in the upcoming year.
The latest research indicates that the world’s airlines carry over 2.6 billion passengers and 48 million tonnes of freight per year generating approx. 8.4 million jobs within the air transport industry and contributing $539 billion to the global GDP. Compared to the GDP contribution from other sectors, the global air transport industry is larger than the pharmaceuticals ($445 billion), textiles ($236 billion) or the automotive industries ($484 billion) and around half as big as the global chemicals ($977 billion) and food and beverage ($1,162 billion) sectors. In fact, if ‘air transport’ were a country, its GDP would rank it the 19th in the world, roughly equal to that of Switzerland or Poland.
‘Currently there are hundreds of aircraft maintenance training organizations around the world, but the latest figures clearly indicate that it is not enough. Recently Boeing has issued a revised Current Market Overview containing an aviation industry forecast for the upcoming 19 years. The demand for new technicians during the past year decreased by almost 50 000, but the industry is still in need of approximately 600 thousand maintenance technicians. With the IATA to forecast more than a triple increase in passenger traffic – up to 16 billion passengers by 2050 – airlines will inevitably develop a keen desire to carry every single of those passengers. It will definitely trigger a sharp spike in the demand curve for aircraft maintenance training services, something that FL Technics Training, as a global aircraft maintenance training provider, is in a good position to provide,’ says the Deputy Head at FL Technics Training Dainius Sakalauskas.
According to D.Sakalauskas, despite the shortage of professionals, global aviation companies such as TAE, SIA Engineering Company, TIMCO Aerosystems, HAESL, Vector Aerospace Corporation, Iberia’s Maintenance, TES Aviation Group, FL Technics continues to strengthen their presence by opening new aircraft maintenance/overhaul facilities and/or extending their line maintenance networks.
‘Such expansion means more skilled workforce, but, unfortunately, commercial MRO facilities are still reporting difficulties in filling the maintenance positions with professionals. The USA aircraft manufacturers have already conducted a promo campaign aimed at promoting aviation-related professions, including those of aircraft technicians and engineers,’ spoke D.Sakalauskas. ‘Today, air transport is a vital component of many industries’ global supply chains, used primarily for the transfer of nondurable goods. There is no doubt that the more skilled the workforce, the more innovations will occur and the faster these will be adopted. Obviously, the more high-tech the sector, the more important the technical knowledge/education is.’