The representative body of the worldwide airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has announced that it has extended the deadline of its Global Skills Survey until June 24. So far, more than 400 air transport industry professionals had participated in the survey.
Iata sees the survey as being vitally important for the future of the sector. For example, discussions at the recent Iata Ground Handling Conference (concerned with the handling of commercial aircraft at airports) had revealed (in the words of Iata Flight and Technical Operations director Stuart Fox) an “alarming shortage of talent” in that sector.
“We need to act now to address these shortages and guarantee the sustainability of our industry,” he affirmed.
Preliminary findings from the survey so far included: 50% of respondents reported that training new employees was a challenge because of the time and resources required, while 48% were concerned about the uncertainty in the aviation sector. Anticipating and planning demand for services was a challenge for 48% of respondents. Job market competitiveness, regarding the recruitment and retention of staff, was a challenge for 44%.
In terms of the sectors within the air transport industry, 29% of survey respondents identified Cargo and Ground Handling as becoming less attractive for potential employees. The more attractive sectors were Flight Operations and Digital Transformation.
Fox directly appealed to aviation professionals in South Africa to take part in the survey. “As a professional from South Africa, I would be very interested to see how the skills gap is perceived in your part of the world,” he stated.