Support local schools to combat skills gap, says ARSA

Maintenance firms are being urged to look to their local communities to combat the looming shortage in skilled workers.

Maintenance firms are being urged to look to their local communities to combat the looming shortage in skilled workers.

A new report commissioned by the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) and the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC), concludes that with a large share of the FAA-certified workforce beginning to retire and greater demand for technical workers with post-secondary education certificates, MRO companies “may find themselves with an insufficient hiring pool”.

Christian Klein, ARSA’s executive vice president, said: “The only way for businesses, government and teaching institutions to solve big, daunting national workforce problems is to look in their surrounding communities and get active in a planned, strategic way.”
The report found that there had been a fall in FAA-certification rates between 2008 and 2013, and that students that are completing aviation maintenance qualifications are “electing to take jobs in other industries where wages or opportunities are greater”.
One significant problem relating to understanding the scale of the skills gap problem is data, the researchers argued, complaining what is available is “frustratingly insufficient [and] is often inaccurate and inconsistently captured”.
“This report is all about defining a problem: the desperate need for more qualified, well-trained men and women to funnel into aviation careers,” said Ryan Goertzen, ATEC’s president and president of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.

“To achieve that we must figure out how to really capture what’s going on in the workforce. Incorrect data does not help anyone and masks the real problem facing our industry today: finding skilled workers.”
Read the report in full at: www.arsa.org

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