Congratulations to Aviation Pros for finding this story about the apprentice program established by Messier-Bugatti-Dowty’s maintenance repair and overhaul division (MRO). It was not that long ago when the future requirements for A&P mechanics exceeded the forecast. However, factors like consolidation, the economy and operators outsourcing maintenance to MROs have changed the demand.
For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics is forecasting the need for A&Ps to be flat (about a 7-percent increase) over the next 10 years. With that and with the number of A&P schools closed due to low enrollment, and a decade of upheaval in the airline industry, it is anyone’s guess as to what the future looks like. There may indeed be a shortage of these highly skilled aviation professionals in the coming months, perhaps even for years, as the industry recovers from layoffs, furloughs and attrition during the recession.
This MRO firm, related to the OEM of the same name, has worked with local organizations, its parent organization and quite creatively, its customers to develop talent. The success of the program is reinforced by the availability of continuing education and is measured by the number of apprentice alumni who are in the management ranks.
Companies would do well to establish a program similar to the one cited in the Aviation Pros article. By investing in an apprentice program the company benefits by handpicking, training and grooming its own staff rather than rely on searching for qualified and available mechanics in the market.
Great initiative Messier-Bugatti-Dowty MRO! One which other similar aviation companies should emulate.