Global evidence continues to build regarding growing concerns over the future supply aviation maintenance technicians. In many ways, the current workforce appears to be somewhat stagnant and aging. Unsurprisingly, many factors are likely driving this current state of affairs. Predictably, decades of airline pressure on service providers and waning interest by Millennials and Generation X-ers are high on many lists. Obviously, the status quo needs to change and growing global discussions are beginning to surface new ideas.
One Thing Is Clear: Doing Nothing Is Not an Option
Recently, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association’s (ARSA) Brent Levanto provided an interesting perspective in an MRO Network.com article. Mr. Levanto served on a panel addressing these challenges at MRO Americas in April. Notably, there appears to have been universal concern by a broad cross-section of MRO executives on this topic. Not unlike challenges with the global pilot population, some companies are taking matters into their own hands. A good example of this is Textron, which recently established a partnership with Wichita Public Schools. Directly addressing these industry concerns, the aim of this Aviation Pathway program is to begin outreach early in search of those next generation aviation professionals.
Surprise – Today’s Youth Are Wired Differently – Aerospace Maintenance Must Adapt
Obviously, we need look no further than our own families for evidence of what motivates young people today. Clearly, these young adults are driven by available technologies and are incredibly more adept in this realm than earlier generations. Interestingly, while many of us “vintage professionals” remain intimidated by social media and electronic communications, our numbers are dwindling. Throughout the world, young people view these devices and applications as routine tools and are fearless with their use. Two interesting articles point to this absolute requirement for changing traditional mindsets about recruiting new talent. Aviation Manufacturing and Design recently published a great article on the need to begin recruiting Generation Z – now! Similarly, AAR is beginning to experience cost pressures as maintenance technicians command higher salaries.
Obviously, The Industry Must Replenish Its Professionals
Dated thinking about recruiting aerospace professionals are quickly proving irrelevant. To successfully sustain and grow the aviation industry to meet the globe’s growing demand, we all must react with creativity and long-term thinking. Please take a look at Avi8ion’s posts on similar challenges for pilots, assets and business practices. An unstoppable global shift in hiring assumptions is clearly underway. Will you be proactive or reactive?