Building the Workforce Part III

Technician Shortage Expected as Early as This Year

By Kathryn B. Creedy

  • Increasing demand leads to hiring recovery
  • MRO workforce cuts minimal compared to other sectors
  • Labor shortages, costs remain a serious concern
  • Key people abandoning the industry
  • Covid is cyclicality reminder making others leave
  • Shift in demand may make recovery harder to predict
  • MRO recruiting efforts succeeding in increasing AMT enrollment
  • Schools will have to produce 2700 new graduates to meet demand
  • Acid test will be 2020 enrollment figures
  • Industry doing poor job of recruiting military, capturing only 10%

This article is third in a series evaluating workforce needs in different industry sectors. Parts One and Two dealt with manufacturing.

Credit: PTC

The technician shortage is expected to re-emerge as early as this year, according to an Oliver Wyman study especially as some unemployed technicians leave the workforce permanently, similar to what has been experienced in the pilot corp covered in the last issue.

The good news, MRO workforces were not as devastated as other disciplines and are estimated to be down just about 3%. The recovery, which Oliver Wyman expects in 2022/23, makes MROs reluctant to lose employees given previous shortfalls.

JSFirm, the industry-leading placement company, reported hiring has already resumed. Its Hiring Trends Survey of hiring professionals, executives, and business owners indicated over 50% are projecting growth in 2021. Additionally, 66% of those surveyed did not cut any jobs in 2020, despite the pandemic. Furthermore, 33% expected to hire in the second quarter 2021 with pilots, maintenance and avionics techs in highest demand.


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Published by Kathryn B. Creedy

Kathryn B. Creedy is a veteran aviation journalist and communications strategist. My byline has appeared in CNN Travel, The Points Guy, BBC Capital, Los Angeles Times, Forbes Online, The Washington Post, Flyer Talk, Business Traveler, Business Travel Executive, Afar, Flightglobal, Centre for Aviation, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Low Fare & Regional Airlines, Inflight, Business Airports International, Airports, Centerlines, Regional Gateway, Runway Girl Network and Metropolitan Airport News among others. In 2018, I was cited for the Sapphire Pegasus Business Aviation Award for her work as a business aviation journalist. Created four newsletters, including two web publications Author: Time Flies - The History of SkyWest Airlines. Consistently received bonuses or commendations throughout my career. Founded Commuter/Regional Airline News, building it to become the bible of the industry. Co-founded C/R Airline News International to cover Europe. Founding editor of Aviation Today's Daily Brief, VLJ Report. Founding Senior Analyst North America for Centre for Aviation and North American Editor for Low Fare & Regional Airlines and Inflight. Key Words: Aviation, travel, business jets, commercial, aircraft, airlines, publishing, public relations, corporate communications, media specialist,

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