Aviation Week Network's 2020 Workforce Survey Identifies Trends in Technological Challenges, Leadership, Demographics and Ranks the Top Universities for A&D Recruitment

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aviation Week Network today announces the 2020 Workforce Study findings, coming at the height of change and transformation across the industry brought about by business and health challenges. The 2020 study looked at critical areas within this context — reskilling and continuous learning for employees, the changing dynamics of the workplace, and how to maintain stability in the face of dynamic market changes. 

Aviation Week Network collaborated with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) on the annual study.

“The current environment is truly a unique point in the history of this industry,” said Greg Hamilton, president of Aviation Week Network. “The industry had to trim jobs to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and reduction in build rates for commercial aircraft while ensuring that employees considered essential to national defense and security could safely and efficiently maintain productivity rates.”

Among the findings for this year’s study is that more than 72,000 people were hired by the industry in 2019, offset by layoffs in 2020 that totaled 113,000 by mid-year. Originally, the numbers for hiring were forecast to be similar for 2020, continuing a seven-year growth in jobs.

“As the industry has pivoted to meet the current challenges, the transformation to digital operations has accelerated,” said Daniel Dumbacher, executive director of AIAA. “Not only is this allowing engineering teams to work more collaboratively than ever before, it has accelerated the speed of innovation and new engineering design and production concepts.”

Scott Thompson, leader of PwC's US Aerospace and Defense practice, echoed Dumbacher’s point. “Transformation tends to speed up in times of crisis. Digital transformation was already in progress. However, because of the contraction in commercial aviation and social distancing in all aspects of manufacturing, transformation and automation are accelerating both on the factory floor and in the back office. The industry is working to preserve capability while reacting to market forces." 

Young professionals responding to a random survey as part of the 2020 Workforce Study pointed to the need for “opportunistic learning” in which new skills and reskilling are available 24/7. Companies spent 4% of their revenues on reskilling in 2019, with 33% of the courses offered online. The top areas of reskilling were in cyber security, data science, operating and troubleshooting automation tools, program management, manufacturing systems and computer skills.

“This benchmark underscores the essential role our talented employees play in fueling our industry's success,” commented Alex Wagner, vice president of strategic initiatives of Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). “Because they are our greatest asset, our workforce will also be the bedrock on which the sector’s recovery from the pandemic will be built. Managing this current reality, however, while also navigating rapidly evolving technology and emerging threats will require more creativity than ever before. That means our industry must double down on its commitment to recruiting, reskilling, and retaining a workforce that is representative of America’s diversity and collective strength.”

This year’s student survey found that 72% of engineering students responding plan to pursue careers in space, defense or air transport. The study also found that attrition for the aerospace and defense industry remains among the lowest of all industries, at 6%, and the retirement rate in 2019 was 2%, though this is expected to rise in 2020.

The Study conducted a random-sample survey at key universities and within a sampling of small and large A&D companies to determine the factors motivating university students and young professionals (under 35).

In addition to the Workforce Study, Aviation Week Network hosted a webinar called “Preparing Workforce Strategies for a Post-Pandemic World.” Click here to view the on-demand webinar.

For more information on the Workforce Study, go to aviationweek.com/workforce

Aviation Week Network is the largest multimedia information and services provider for the global aviation, aerospace, and defense industries, serving 1.7 million professionals around the world. Industry professionals rely on Aviation Week Network to help them understand the market, make decisions, predict trends, and connect with people and business opportunities. Customers include the world's leading aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, airlines, airports, business aviation operators, militaries, governments and other organizations that serve this worldwide marketplace. Aviation Week Network’s portfolio delivers award-winning journalism, data, intelligence and analytical resources, world-class tradeshows and conferences, and results-driven marketing services and advertising.

Aviation Week Network is part of Informa Markets, a division of Informa PLC.

Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. We provide marketplace participants around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, targeted digital services and actionable data solutions. We connect buyers and sellers across more than a dozen global verticals, including Aviation, Pharmaceuticals, Food, Medical Technology and Infrastructure. As the world's leading market-making company, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit www.informamarkets.com.

Media Contact
Elizabeth Sisk
Director, Marketing Communications
Aviation Week Network
+1 860.495.5498

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Source: Aviation Week Network

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