Saturday, June 15, 2024

AFRAA Participation at the TIACA Regional Summit in Nairobi, Kenya


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Attracting, retaining, and nurturing the next generation workforce in the aviation industry is a global obstacle that applies to air cargo in the African continent as well.

The presentation focused on the key challenges faced in attracting, retaining, and developing the next generation workforce in African air cargo operations.

The growth of the air cargo sector in Africa necessitates a corresponding investment in human capital. Professionals such as pilots, cabin crews, engineers, and dispatchers are needed to support the potential traffic growth in Africa, which is projected to double every 15 to 20 years.

The fact that 70% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is under 30 presents an opportunity to meet these workforce needs.

To address these challenges, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has established the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) initiative. NGAP aims to develop strategies, best practices, tools, standards, and guidelines to attract, educate, and retain the next generation of aviation professionals.

Various industry players have also taken initiatives to address the workforce challenges. For example, the “Ask IATA” program brings together academic institutions and IATA experts to discuss the present and future of aviation. Additionally, air cargo operators have implemented their own initiatives to tackle the workforce issues. AFRAA offers consultancy services to identify gaps in any institution and offers tailored solutions based on the gap analysis.

However, there are several challenges that need to be overcome. Limited awareness among young professionals about career opportunities in the air cargo industry is a significant hurdle. The industry also faces a shortage of specialized skills and knowledge required for air cargo operations, and there is a lack of tailored African air cargo programs in African universities and vocational training institutions.

Retention is another challenge, with high attrition rates due to limited career growth opportunities and competition from other industries. Inadequate measures to foster employee satisfaction and engagement within the air cargo sector contribute to this issue.

The rapid advancement of technology in the air cargo industry poses another challenge. There is a need for a skilled workforce to adapt and leverage new technologies, but limited exposure to and training on emerging technologies exist.

To address these challenges, it is crucial to conduct targeted awareness campaigns to educate and attract young professionals to the air cargo industry. Specialized training programs should be established in collaboration with industry stakeholders to bridge the skills gap.

Embracing technological advancements through training programs and collaborations with technology providers is essential. Employee engagement and retention strategies should also be implemented, including career progression opportunities and a supportive work environment.

Partnerships with universities and research institutions can play a significant role in designing and delivering training programs, as well as encouraging industry practitioners to contribute their expertise.

By addressing the lack of awareness, skills gap, retention issues, and embracing technological advancements, the African air cargo industry can overcome its workforce challenges.

Through collaborative efforts between stakeholders, training programs, and employee engagement strategies, the industry can thrive with a skilled and motivated workforce.

Also Read

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