Subscribe Free
in Features / People

Mind the gap… stark warning as next-gen talent goes missing

Posted 9 June 2020 · Add Comment

Noureddine Mouaddib, founder and president of Rabat International University, made an appeal to tackle challenges regarding human resource development in aviation at a conference in Marrakesh, Morocco. Vincent Chappard and Anuradha Deenapanray report.

Noureddine Mouaddib is predicting huge tension throughout the aviation sector as it continues to outpace the number of qualified people with the ability to resource it properly.
The founder and president of Rabat International University was speaking at the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) conference in Morocco.
“The challenge is how to attract talent towards aviation as people are increasingly drawn towards other high-tech sectors, which look more exciting and have interesting salaries,” he said.
In the early 2000s, Morocco and other countries in the region didn’t have excellent or highly ranked universities. Young people from modest backgrounds couldn’t afford to study abroad, so it became a necessity to offer on-site training in advanced sectors as well as diplomas and degrees.
Consequently, under the leadership of King Mohamed VI, the International University of Rabat was launched in 2005. Today, it trains 5,000 students, including 600 in the aerospace sector.
Attracting and retaining the best people are major aspects of the future leadership and operational challenges, said Mouaddib. There’s a need to create comprehensive training programmes and cross-functional opportunities. More focus should also be put on both internal and external development programmes by building bridges between the industry and But, as he pointed out, universities cannot work alone. They need the support of industry professionals for internships and to help people discover the work environment and the labour market.
“We need to train our students with a specific profile, so that they are operational once they get their degree.”
Besides human resources, other major issues like research and innovation must also be addressed.
“This know-how must be acknowledged through technology transfer, patents and the setting up of start-ups. Our universities must be part of international research and innovation networks. It is also about creating an ideal setting and environment for the mobility of students and researchers,” stressed Mouaddib.
The role of universities training centres and institutes is crucial in such a promising, innovative and challenging industry that constantly requires highly skilled people, creative thinkers, risk-takers and tenacity, he concluded.
It is a view shared by many in the industry. While there has been a significant rise in the number of training programmes for engineering and technical jobs, it is only recently that a real focus has been made on management training opportunities.
Ali Ahmed Alnaqbi, founding and executive chairman of MEBAA, underlined the problem. “There will be people leaving the industry because of retirement in future,” he said. “There is no injection of fresh blood in our industry and that is why we are specifically targeting universities and colleges to raise one of the main challenges in business aviation and aviation in general.”
So how serious is the problem?
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) by 2037, air transport in the Middle East will require more than 44,000 additional pilots, 4,000 air traffic controllers, 47,000 MRO technicians and 93,000 new cabin crews. Africa will also need more than 23,000 additional pilots, 4,200 air traffic controllers, 28,000 MRO technicians and 37,000 cabin crews. Asia will lead the growth for new fleet and personnel.
Ridesharing companies also plan to offer multimodal air transportation between suburbs, cities and ultimately within cities. They will likely develop fleets of small, electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft in a near future. These fleets will also require pilots and technicians to be maintained.
Added to that, the number of commercial flights and passengers is expected to double by 2030. One third of the world’s goods and 90% of e-commerce orders are delivered by aircraft. Demand for private and business aviation is also going up.
Consequently, over the next two decades, the high demand for a qualified workforce will need to be correlated with aircraft delivery plans and technological innovation.

Other Stories
Latest News

Combi unlocks Texel's loads of potential...

As lead operator of the new Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi freighter conversion, Bahrain-based Texel Air is looking towards more distant horizons, as Alan Dron reports.

TAV Technologies receives IDC award for passenger flow management solution

The Passenger Flow Management Platform developed by Turkey’s TAV Technologies received the highest accolade in the category of customer experience during the CIO Summit, organised by International Data Corporation (IDC) Turkey.

Qatar Airways opens new state-of-the-art engine facility

Qatar Airways has opened a new state-of-the-art Engine Facility as part of the vision to streamline the cost of its Technical Maintenance operations by more than $2.2m per year.

UK Qatari combined Hawk and Typhoon flight training

The UK and Qatar have been working together with combined delivery of Hawk and Typhoon flight training activity in support of the two countries close defence ties.

Middle Eastern airlines saw demand fall 83.1% in February

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that passenger traffic fell in February 2021, both compared to pre-COVID levels (February 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (January 2021).

Emirates announces latest policy updates

Emirates has announced the latest updates to its booking policies.

EDGE SK2601300621
See us at
Aviation Africa 2021 BTNNDAS21_BTWorld Defence Show 2022Aviation MENA 2021