With an increase in air travel, the addition of budget airlines to the aviation industry, expanded routes and the commission of new and more advanced aircraft, the demand for highly trained aviation mechanics will continue to grow. The millennial generation is the next in line to become aviation mechanics, but they have a specific set of requirements as they pick their career. First, we will review what a millennial is. Then, we will talk about what the millennials are looking for in a career. Finally, we will take a look at some of the ways with which the aviation industry can attract millennials, as well as how to retain current employees.
What is a Millennial?
Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. This generation was impacted by economic recession and the reaction to the 80s credit card bubble. As they grew older, millennials saw unemployment at all-time highs and lived through a period of economic instability. As a result, many are driven individuals with a desire to work among their friends and help their communities.
What are Millennials Looking for in a Career?
Millennials are accustomed to working in teams and prefer to work with their friends. They generally want to work in diverse environments, enjoy handling a variety of tasks, expect frequent feedback, and place a high value on work/life balance. It is characteristic of millennials to want to help the world and thus they favor employment at companies that give back to their communities.
Many millennials are climbing the corporate ladder differently than their parents. While the previous generation was more organization-loyal—staying with a company much longer and accepting the promotions they were rewarded—millennials looking to get ahead do not wait for advancement and are often willing to job hop to advance.
How to Attract Millennials to Work in Aviation
The aviation industry has to spread awareness about aviation mechanic jobs and consider new incentives to both attract fresh talent and retain existing employees. The industry needs to focus on teamwork, training, scholarships, upgradation, recruitment, perception and awareness programs.
Teamwork: Aviation organizations must create a friendly atmosphere for millennials, allowing them to become friends with their co-workers so that they can work to a common goal.
Training: The aviation industry should train mechanics to use new gadgets and technologies. This will attract the youth as well as increase employee retention.
Scholarships: Although the number of MRO scholarships has increased, there is room to develop more partnerships with the education industry and additional financing avenues for training should be explored.
Upgradation: The aviation industry will have to upgrade its maintenance and IT systems to collect and analyze the data generated from newer planes. This data could make aviation mechanics’ work much easier. The advancement of technology may interest millennials that grew up with computers and took to the Internet quickly in the new millennium.
Recruitment: Aircraft maintenance is performed almost entirely by males. According to the Aviation Technician Education Council, females make up only 2.3 percent of the certified mechanic workforce. The aviation maintenance industry should ensure workforce diversity, thereby broadening its skill base. Experts also suggest accommodating military veterans and other displaced workers in the labor force.
Perception: Aviation mechanics have been traditionally seen as ‘blue collar’ workers. Today’s aircraft, however, have some of the most sophisticated technologies. Millennials would be interested to know that aviation technicians are trained in mathematics, physics, electrical systems and computers; have excellent problem-solving capabilities; and play a significant role in preventing aircraft accidents or incidents. The industry should therefore work towards a change in perception.
Awareness programs: The Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) is conducted to recognize and celebrate aviation maintenance technicians and raise awareness of the training and skills needed to provide safe and airworthy aircraft worldwide. The aviation maintenance industry should conceptualize more programs like AMC.
The current imbalance in the demand and supply of aviation mechanics can and will be remedied eventually by a combination of such measures. The relevant question is how fast this can be done so as not to jeopardize the industry or inconvenience the passengers.
Ready to learn more about becoming an aviation mechanic? The Aviation Maintenance programs from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career.
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