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Tick Tock…..Aviation Talent Challenges Set to Grow

Ask any aviation professional over the last decade to identify our industry’s greatest looming challenge and universally, attracting new people rises to the top.  Nevertheless, we keep wringing our hands and implementing largely incremental steps to stem the rising tide of talent scarcity.  Fittingly, the August/September 2019 cover of Aircraft Maintenance Technology features their NextGen Award recipients highlighting 40 rising industry stars under 40 years old.  Truly, these rising leaders to help us take a more strategic approach to attracting and retaining their successors.  Nevertheless, after a decade of unprecedented airframe and customer growth, is the dial finally moving on solving the ongoing technician shortage?

New Generation Workforce Requires Different Thinking

Historically, good-paying aircraft maintenance jobs were highly sought after.  The well-proven path of schooling, apprenticeship, licensing and steady upward movement served to attract great talent and retain that talent.  Conversely, many young people entering today’s workforce fundamentally view careers differently than in years past.  Debating whether or not this is attributed to societal or business environment changes after multiple bankruptcies is largely moot.  Fundamentally, our industry must realize that the underlying value and employment propositions are forever changed.  Thus, there are two distinct paths waiting for future aviation employers. First, we can acknowledge this looming people challenge and begin a much-needed pivot; or second, we will just sit idly by, watch our existing workforce age and wonder what happened to the good old days.

Is 2022 at Tipping Point Or Are We Already There?

Revealingly, in AMT’s recent “Maintaining the Maintenance Labor Pipeline” , Ronnie Wendt relays solid narrative of the current state of play.  Citing IATA and Boeing, Mr. Wendt paints a contrast between incremental changes and strategic initiatives underway.  Interestingly, three key article state, “The situation is going to get worse before it gets better.  Everyone is predicting the actual shortage will hit around 2022.  That is when we’re going to have more people leaving than coming in.”  In reality, Mr. Wendt leaves a pretty rosy impression.  For example, we continue to hear that the shortage is well underway TODAY at many shops and MROs. Clearly, significant changes are required for continued viability. Unquestionably, strategic-minded marketplace leaders will emerge to create competitive advantages in this space. Equally predictable is that crisis-managing procrastinators will play catch up as margins begin to shrink. There’s a looming aviation people challenge. Is it already underway?

See Avi8ion’s Related Posts

Please take a look at Avi8ion’s other blogs discussing this ongoing industry challenge.

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