The aviation industry faces skills gaps at a time when technological advances, the pandemic, and talent demands are causing a battle for talent. Since the pandemic, there are now 2.3 million fewer people working in the aviation industry.
In July, Boeing estimated that they would require 2.1 million new aviation personnel over the next 20 years to meet their needs. The long-term forecast shows that 602,000 pilots, 610,000 maintenance technicians and 899,000 cabin crew members will be required to support the global commercial fleet over the next two decades.
As a result of COVID-19, we saw thousands of skilled workers laid off, alongside a huge shift in our working expectations that the aviation industry can’t cater for (flexible working hours, working from home or hybrid, work from anywhere).
However, talent challenges in the sector were a concern before the pandemic: we were already seeing an aging workforce, with a large proportion of pilots closing on retirement. The pandemic only widened that gap.
The talent needs in the industry fall into two main categories:
- Skilled aviation workers: those people that are physically there to keep the airports running and the planes in the sky (pilots, security professionals, cabin crew, baggage handlers, etc).
- Technically skilled workers: those individuals who support the airlines, airports, and aviation companies in their digital transformation journeys, working on the most pioneering technology, not only developing new technologies but servicing the state-of-the-art technology already in motion.
Companies hiring in these categories are feeling the strain of the skills gap, the demands of emerging talent, and the fallout from the so-called Great Resignation.
Why aviation needs to consider reskilling workers
One of the best approaches for aviation companies to take in order to weather this storm is to reskill and upskill their current workforce.
Reskilling and upskilling internal talent offers numerous organizational advantages. Among them are shorter ramp-up times, better employee engagement, higher business performance and cost savings. According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2020 report, 81% of respondents said internal recruiting improves retention, 69% said it accelerates new hire productivity, and 63% said it accelerates the hiring process.
These perks are significant, but the benefits of reskilling workers aren’t limited to employers. Employees benefit from feeling valued, developing new skills, and progressing in their careers.
Engage with lost talent to bridge the gap
Many aviation companies are focused on bridging the skills gap using emerging talent. One of the leading UK airlines plans to hire 1000 Cadets in the next 5 years to join the airline as pilots from 2024.
But how can we bridge the gap of today and utilize the wealth of skills within aviation talent to drive these types of initiative to success? By rehiring the talent lost during the pandemic and allowing those people to mentor and develop the emerging talent, through gigs and mentorship programmes.
Two things are needed to help make this happen.
First, you need to re-engage with your lost talent in a more efficient and personalized way (we all know that one thing TA teams are short of in this market is time). Using Beamery, businesses are able to reach the lost aviation talent much quicker, through unique recruitment marketing campaigns and working with enriched data, in order to re-engage with alumni and attract them back to the industry.
Implement a Talent Marketplace
Secondly, you need a platform that all staff can access to manage their learning and development, providing a way to engage with gigs, short-term work placements or longer-term moves, and mentorships – between emerging and experienced talent. This can be achieved via a Talent Marketplace, powered by explainable AI.
By understanding the skills you have and the skills you need, and using AI to match tasks to people, a Talent Marketplace is a smart solution to filling gaps quickly and in creative ways.
The time to act is now. The future of the aviation industry depends on it. Beamery can help aviation companies reskill and upskill internal talent, re-engage and resurface lost talent, and use internal gigs and mentorship to faster develop emerging talent, while driving company culture and employer brand.