The Talent Crunch

Anybody who is anyone in aviation will tell you that the sector is poised for stellar growth in India. With air travel becoming more affordable and the per-capita income of Indians rising, it should not come as a surprise.From about one in every 20 Indians travelling by air today the number is expected to increase five-fold by 2032, with a quarter of the population taking at least one flight, according to aircraft manufacturer Airbus. India will need 1,290 aircraft, worth at least $190 billion, over the next 20 years and passenger traffic is expected to grow at nearly 10 per cent annually up to 2032.No wonder then that global airlines are queuing up to enter the country and are keen to have India-specific plans. But the bad news is that India’s aviation infrastructure is woefully inadequate to meet such scorching pace of growth, especially on the staffing front. Aviation, unlike most other sectors, needs highly-trained crew in all areas — right from the check-in process to the stewards and pilots on the plane.

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Experts agree that a collective approach — with inputs from all stakeholders such as airlines, maintenance organisations, ground-handling operators and the Government — is critical to set right the situation. The aviation community, with support of the Government, should work in establishing quality training organisations to provide large number of skilled manpower, they say.

Aditya Narayan Mishra, President (Staffing) at recruitment firm Randstad India, said stringent regulations about the quality of talent is critical to the industry.  There is also an urgent need to enhance the infrastructure and other key requirements of the training institutes to bring them on par with international standards. These institutes should partner with the industry to provide better training facilities to students, increasing the quality and absorption rate of the graduates each year.

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