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How To Address The Shortage of B747 Engineers

  • by: Ryan Abbot
  • On: 31, Jul 2018
3 min read

Demand for B747 Engineers is at an all-time high, with Aviation industry leaders facing a significant skills shortage in the coming years.

How Can Aviation Industry Leaders Solve The B747 Engineer Skills Shortage?

In Q4 2017, 42% of Aviation industry leaders identified a labour shortage as the most urgent challenge they will face in the next five years. Global demand for Aviation skills is set to overtake supply by 2027, with B747 Engineers under-represented amongst a rapidly reducing workforce.

Causes Behind the Shortage of B747 Engineers

Created by American aircraft manufacturer Boeing and completing its first flight in 1969, the Boeing 747 is a popular and much-loved aircraft that has just reached the finals of the vote for the Best Jetliner Ever Made (tying with Concorde).

One of the largest aircraft in the market, a minority of airlines currently operate with Boeing 747s. Fewer Aircraft Engineers are gaining experience working on the aircraft model in their early careers, instead opting to focus on models such as the Airbus A380 which are operated in their thousands across the market.

Aviation training costs can deter businesses from investing in the education and certification required to train up B747 Engineers, and can also force Aviation Engineers to choose their career paths based on the training programmes they can afford.

As global demand for Aviation skills is predicted to overwhelm the industry within the next decade, Baroness Sugg commented on the shortage of B747 Engineers at the New Civil Engineer Airports conference:

‘The Aviation sector is critically important to the future of our country. Economically, it is an important time for this industry with growth at many of our airports as well as exporting our expertise abroad. To keep up with this growth we need to invest in the people and skills needed to support the industry. The government has already started to address this with schemes such as the apprenticeships levy and our industrial strategy is aimed at rivalling the best in the world with £450M investment.’

Solutions to the Shortage of B747 Engineers

1. Bespoke/Graduate Recruitment Programmes

The recent innovation of Europe’s leading airlines could hold the key to the shortage of B747 Engineers and inspire similar successful programmes. This year easyJet’s Aeronautical Engineering Apprenticeships saw record numbers of applications for a programme which involves close mentorship and two years’ classroom and on-the-job training, culminating in the achievement of a recognised engineering qualification.

Independent regional airline Flybe have also designed their own Aeronautical Apprenticeship programme. The Aircraft Maintenance Apprenticeship is a four-year programme delivered at the Flybe Training Academy and MRO and in partnership with Exeter College at Exeter International Airport. Aviation Apprentices gain a Level 3 Diploma in Aviation Maintenance as well as the necessary hand skills, theoretical knowledge and live aircraft experience required by worldwide Regulating Authorities.

2. Cost-Effective Online Aviation Training

In collaboration with our EASA Part 147 Training Partner, VHR offer the following online Aviation training programmes:

  • Human Factors (HF)
  • Fuel Tank Safety (SFAR88) Target Groups (Phase) 1&2
  • HF, Fuel Tank Safety Groups 1-2 and EWIS Groups 1-2 & 3-5
  • Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS) Group 3-5
  • Airside Safety

Cost-effective online Aviation training is ideal for Aviation Engineers at all levels of experience and can build on existing skills to transform career paths and generate new job opportunities.

All courses are EASA-approved and run in partnership with Civil Aviation Technical Training Solutions (CATTS). Find out more about our online Aviation training services.

3. Getting Young People into Aviation

Airlines and international MROs identify one clear reason behind the Aviation skills shortage: a lack of interest in Aviation from younger talent pools. Fewer young people than ever are getting into technical skills-based apprenticeships. If numbers of Aviation technicians continue to fall, the sector will face challenges of mammoth proportions.

VHR’s Divisional Director and Aviation recruitment specialist Ryan Abbot advises on the shortage of B747 Engineers, ‘In a globally connected world where students are bombarded with choices, we need to shout louder to reach potential Aviation Engineers who are unaware of what the sector can offer.’

‘The Aviation industry can attract more talent at graduate and entry levels by visiting schools and speaking about the benefits, not only of working for airlines and MROs but in being part of the incredible things that they do and the amazing experiences they create. Industry leaders and Aviation Academies can tackle the Aviation skills shortage by promoting the importance of Engineers to the history and future of Aviation, and the exciting and varied careers that are out there waiting for them.’

Need Aviation Engineers or Aircraft Technicians? Find out how VHR’s Aviation recruitment services can help you.

Read our Aircraft Manufacturing Market Report for 2018-2023.

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