Duncan Aviation, Bombardier, Collins Aerospace and Piper Aircraft are all on the leading edge of a new trend in aviation education and hiring by launching apprenticeship programs with local schools to help fill the workforce shortages they are experiencing.
Apprenticeships have been a valuable way to bring in new talent abroad but not so in the US and was a major recommendation during the FAA Workforce Summit held earlier this year.
Just 21% of companies responding to AvWeek’s 2019 Workforce Study survey have apprenticeship programs but that is expected to increase by 10% in the coming year. With 94% of interns offered full-time jobs and an 88% acceptance rate, apprenticeships are becoming an important workforce source.
Duncan Aviation recently rolled out its Airframe Technician Apprenticeship Program during National Apprenticeship Week.
The announcement of Duncan’s program follows a similar announcement Collins Aerospace is partnering with Coast Alabama Community College to create aviation maintenance technician apprenticeships at its aerostructures facility in Foley. The four-to-seven-year program includes on-the-job training, college credit toward an associate’s degree in airframe technology and an FAA airframe license.
“The aviation industry is currently seeing a workforce shortage for qualified aircraft technicians as the number of retiring certified Airframe Technicians is higher than the number of young adults expressing interest in the field of aircraft mechanics,” explained Chair Todd Duncan.
With 7.2 million job openings in the United States, apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways in which employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and transferable credentials, said the Department of Labor (DoL) which has an apprenticeship website with guidance for developing such programs.
Apprenticeships provide on-the-job training that gives participants a clear career path and national credential from the DoL through an earn-as-you-learn program. Duncan Aviation has offered apprenticeships, or full-time careers that include on-the-job training and instruction, to interested candidates for the last few years. By on-boarding new team members as Tech Helpers, experienced technicians would offer guidance and on-the-job training. Read more.
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