It’s here. The shortage of mechanics that has been predicted for decades now is finally upon us, and only now we’re starting to take the issue seriously. In some cases, airlines are hiring directly out of A&P programs and job listings for aircraft mechanics have skyrocketed. Smaller firms are having difficulty filling positions and retaining good workers, and industry veterans lament the questionable qualifications of recent entrants to the profession.
Can we make up for years of inaction to meet worldwide demand? Perhaps more importantly, can we recruit potential candidates? The aviation industry is in direct competition with colleges who are able to tap into enormous endowments to recruit the best of the best and who very often market their opportunities much better than we tend to.
Do you consider your maintenance vendors to be partners? Or are they merely vendors by default? Perhaps only their existence and good fortune to be located in the right place at the right time was enough for you to give them the nod, and you’ve been relying on them ever since?
How many times have you spoken to them in the past six months (a call or visit that wasn’t precipitated by a complaint or incident)? How many times have they asked how they’re doing? Do they even know how you rate their performance? (assuming you do in the first place) How much have they invested in the relationship over the last year?