What can you us about the aircraft maintenance technician training course you launched this summer?
It is a vocational training degree, consisting of theoretical and practical classes, where about 40% of the learning takes place as work place training. We have developed the degree with the Madrid regional government and it is part of the official education programme of the Madrid region. Once the students have graduated, they will hold a vocational certificate that enables them to work as aircraft maintenance technicians throughout the European Union.
Why did Iberia identify a need to launch such a program?
We are committed to society and, with this programme, we aim to support talented youth, who will be tomorrow’s technicians. This training will make them fit for the technological and organizational challenges of the future. We also believe in the future of our maintenance base in Madrid.
If successful, would there be plans to roll it out at other schools in Madrid or perhaps further afield in Spain?
There are no plans of the kind at this point in time. However, FP dual (the dual vocational training) is a national concept and is regionally organized. Likewise, we hope to achieve a harmonization between national and EASA syllabi and a more competency-oriented assessment model. For the time being, we want to develop the programme with the two schools of choice, Instituto de Educación Secundaria (IES) Barajas and Centro de Formación Profesional C.I.F.P. Profesor Raul Vazquez, by harmonizing our educational approaches and expanding the equipment in their workshops and laboratories.
Has there been a shortage of skilled technicians in Spain?
It depends on the definition of skill. The bottleneck is always the possession of EASA maintenance technician licenses and the relevant type ratings. Certainly, with the introduction of new equipment, a shortage develops due to the fact, that type rating course capabilities are limited at the beginning of a life cycle of new aircraft. This can be seen currently with the Airbus A350.
What other initiatives has Iberia tried out to be attract more young people into the industry?
We support the training of graduates in different areas. Therefore, it has agreements with universities, vocational training schools and so on to offer graduates the needed practical training to finish their degrees and complete their education.