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Time Flies.

Posted by: Mark Jones 13 Jul 16 - 11:45AM  | Aerospace

Aerospace recruitment #FIA16Aerospace, aviation and defence expert at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, Matthew Heath, considers the rapid changes taking place in the industry and the impact this is having on current and future skills requirements.

Working closely with the aerospace, defence, and aviation sectors often brings to mind the word ‘pioneering’ and the Modern Transport Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech once again puts engineering innovation in the UK centre stage.

According to industry body, ADS Group, the aerospace sector has experienced 39% growth since 2010 and in its January 2016 report on Global Aerospace and Defence, Deloitte paints a positive picture for the UK’s defence and commercial aerospace sectors, with exports to the Asia Pacific region potentially outstripping those to the US in the latter.

The Modern Transport Bill has seized the pioneering potential that exists in the UK to place it firmly at the forefront of global transport developments including drones, satellites and commercial spaceflight.

Specifically, it outlines measures to facilitate the creation of the UK’s first commercial spaceport. This would offer safe commercial and personal drone flight for households and businesses and thereby attracting potential investors. By 2030, the commercial spaceport could be worth an additional £4bn per year to the UK’s space sector.

Not since the pioneering days of the 1960s has there been such a buzz about the future potential of the aerospace industry. It certainly fires the imagination and should help to inspire the engineers of the future.

But while spaceports may grab the headlines, there is lots of exciting work going on in the industry today that still demands pioneers, and increasingly electronic, materials and software engineers  will play a vital role in future-proofing today’s global airlines.

Today’s engineers have a diverse range of challenges to meet, from coding the specialist software that is increasingly being used to control a range of airborne applications, such as helping to improve the fuel and time efficiency of approaches and landings, through to understanding and applying advanced composite materials, and the increased use of SMART data.  There is also piloting of aircraft and aircraft communications using drones adding a further dimension to the dynamic changes taking place.

Certainly, from a recruitment perspective, the deployment of new materials and technologies in aircraft is creating demand for an evolving range of skills sets. Electronic and software skills can be as important as materials or mechanical engineering expertise. The increasing use of carbon fibre composites and digital technologies offer many advantages in areas such as fuel savings and safety, but their deployment also requires an increasingly diverse workforce.


Experienced engineers will always be an attractive proposition, but aren’t always available. Meanwhile there are many graduates still fighting to get their hands dirty in an aerospace role. Bridging the skills gap has inspired innovation in recruitment as well. This is particularly important for tier one and tier two manufacturers who don’t have the big name but still play a pivotal role in the success of the industry.

Automating some roles to upskill staff on others, and bringing in interim expertise to develop an internal skills base and help deliver R&D programmes have proven highly effective in helping organisations to embrace and thrive in this dynamic and rapidly evolving market.

Increasing investment in the future aerospace landscape to meet the needs of the future should boost industry commitment to investing in engineering and ensure the pioneering spirit of the industry lives long into the future.

We have experts on hand to discuss any of your recruitment requirements. Come along and see us:
Where:   Farnborough Air Show
When:    11th - 15th July 2016
Location: Hall 1 Stand B90

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