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Instructor Shortage Adds to MRO Workforce Woes

Stakeholders in the MRO industry have long felt pressurised by the shortage of technicians. But as the struggle to meet growing workforce demand grows, and as companies struggle to meet the needs of their workforce, the MRO landscape presents new challenges.  


Last year, numerous developments and strategies were forecasted to balance the strained supply chain and demand in the post-pandemic recovery phase. With new recruits seeking a balance between work and personal commitments, MROs were urged to retreat to their drawing boards to assemble a culture to manage workloads efficiently while adjusting schedules and workflows to compensate for the low numbers. 


Stan Myer, vice president for operations at AAR Airframe Services in Oklahoma City, said: "People were leaving and even taking a pay cut to get weekends off. Now everyone has three weekends a month off and works one weekend." 


Jonas Murby, a principal at consultancy AeroDynamic Advisory, said: "This is a time where you have emerging technologies in other areas that appear more attractive to the young generation, so we really need to reinvent the jobs of technicians to fit the new generation." 


Recent years have seen the aviation industry launch initiatives to promote the education and training of future aviation maintenance technicians. However, qualified trainers seem to be few and far between, a new hurdle in the pipeline.  


Brookfield Aviation International has been a trusted recruitment partner since 1993 for engineering and maintenance personnel and works closely with its Part 147 Organisation partners to provide world-class Aircraft Engineering training.  


Lately, partnerships between MROs with joint training programs are seeing success by driving new opportunities for workforce growth. Some organisations also encourage employees by allowing them to pitch ideas to improve maintenance practices and the workplace, one of which received over 700 submissions in a year, a sign of hope that the recruits are committed to their roles in the workforce and make significant progress as they establish a work-life balance.  


Brookfield believes that the new 2024 strategies that call for investments in partnerships, tech innovations such as drone inspections, targeted workforce pathways, offshoring third-party work and localising productions and repair capabilities will enable the MRO landscape to overcome challenges in the following years as engaging the new workforce requires that the industry embrace innovation and transform with the times. 


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