The aviation sector is faced with the task of filling an anticipated 125,000 air traffic controller and 1.3 million aircraft maintenance personnel job vacancies by 2036. This need is not only driven by the sector’s unprecedented growth, but also because of positions opened by the attrition of retiring baby boomer personnel.
Without a plan to fill these positions, the aviation industry would be facing a major crisis. Hence the need for ICAO’s Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) initiative focusing on attracting, educating, and retaining the next generation of aviation professionals.
The key to filling these job vacancies is attracting, training, and then retaining millennials to the field by appealing to their innate learning style preferences and that is where technology comes in.
Millennials and Hands-On Tech Are a Natural Fit
Millennials can be considered the original early adopters of learning with technology, but it needs to be technology that is engaging.
It is not enough to teach them with PowerPoint slides during a lecture. They learn by doing, but with that learning, they want to cut right through superfluous subject matter.
When theory-based learning is required, they want to ability to test out those theories. They want skill-based learning opportunities that focuses on what they need to know and putting those skills into action.
Millennials Want to Hit the Ground Running
The millennial generation often gets a bad rap from older generations.
They are often thought of as lazy and not willing to put the work in to excel in their careers. Millennials have different expectations and attitudes toward the workplace than older generations do.
Most millennials are ambitious and want to hit the ground running on day one as they enter the workforce. They want to feel confident and capable on day one and not feel like a rookie.
This means being trained for their job versus on-the-job training that in the past was the experience most baby boomers had.
Because millennials tend to be skilled students, they want to apply the skills that they have learned in training to their jobs.
But they are also usually eager to continue learning more, which is something that has not always been the norm for some older workers who tended to view required training as burdensome.
A Prime Opportunity for Aviation Training Facilities
With the expected growth of the aviation industry and the need to fill job vacancies from retiring millennials, a prime opportunity exists for aviation training facilities. However, these facilities may need to make changes to attract millennial students, and this includes turning to the latest technologies available for aviation training.
Learning tools like tower simulators designed for ICAO-based ATCO training and NetGen radar training equipment provide the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences that millennials crave and need to begin their careers in the aviation industry.
References and Further Reading
- More articles on Millennials and NextGen Training (2018 - today)
- Engaging Millennials into Learning Formal Methods (2018), by Nestor Catano