Business leaders, MPs, academics, educators, trainers and academics gathered at the House of Commons recently to mark the first anniversary of the Aviation Skills Partnership’s (ASP) ‘Manifesto for Aviation Skills 2016-2021’, which aims to provide solutions to the issue of how to supply enough talented and skilled workers for the growing aviation industry. The event also marked the fourth birthday of ASP who say that the need for a Manifesto for Aviation skills has grown out of a realisation that the aviation industry in the UK is facing strong growth both in a civil and defence capacity. ASP say that there is a clear and defined need to develop talent for a growing industry by engaging individuals, businesses, trainers, educators and government to ensure people with the right skills are available for the right jobs.
Although the aviation sector enjoys high levels of engagement with the general public, few follow up their enthusiasm for the industry by pursuing an associated career pathway. The specialist nature of aviation professions requires that talent and disposition are identified early, and that channels into the industry are clearly signposted. The gaps in these pathways, and in the early identification of appropriate people, has led to significant skills shortages, which are forecast to worsen as aviation expands. ASP’s manifesto sets out a plan to ensure a legacy of a well-trained workforce to supply the national and international markets.
The core elements of the ASP manifesto are:
1. Deliver Industry Skills and Policy Solutions
Develop and implement innovative policy and skills solutions in partnership with employers, training organisations, educators and government, to enable the UK to maintain and extend its position as a world leader in aviation skills.
2. Improve Skills Development through Partnerships and Networking
Create, develop and deliver partnerships, networks and communities to assure the involvement of all stakeholders. Drive common understanding of all the different skills-sets that the industry requires.
3. Provide Employer Led Career Pathways within Aviation
Work with the aviation industry, trainers and educators to design, develop and implement, at a local level, employer led world-class pathways to develop skilled manpower for the aviation sector, including enhancing the skills and the training and development of the existing workforce.
4. Ensure World Class Training through Specialist Hubs
Establish international aviation academies that will inspire and educate through world-class training and education pathways with aviation emulation zones, facilitated by local stakeholder partnerships.
5. Facilitate Sharing of Knowledge and Information
Provide the experience, passion and tools to provide readily accessible, informative and practical careers advice.
6. Value our Heritage to Inspire the Future
Utilise our rich aviation heritage of iconic aircraft and talented and innovative people to inspire our future workforce.
7. Celebrate Achievement
Celebrate achievement through the establishment of an independent set of industry awards, recognising the benefits of skills development and promoting good practice.
Speaking at the House of Commons event, Simon Witts, Founder and Chief Executive of Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP) said, “I continue to hold the view that the UK needs to re-establish its place as one of the world’s leading providers of skilled people to feed the growth in the industry. We have a long and proud aviation and aerospace heritage and we are recognised the world over for the standard, quality and content of our training. I have benefited hugely from this over my successful career to date. My aim, in launching this manifesto, was to build on the industry success to date and add in the work that we have carried out since our formation in 2013 to produce a coherent and comprehensive set of objectives on which to deliver. I am proud of the progress that we have made in our first year. We have a unique position as a nation on which to build this – and so we shall.”