It’s projected that between now and 2034 the airline industry will need to hire more than one million pilots and maintenance technicians – at least according to Boeing’s Long-Term Market report. This is noteworthy to high school graduates, and anyone else looking ahead at career prospects with good odds. For the airline industry, and those in similar circumstances, now is the time to focus on how you’ll train this new workforce.
“Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage.
You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.” – Anne Mulcahy, CEO Xerox
Finding workers to train
But first you’ve got to attract them, and that can be challenging. Young people tend to be attracted to “sexier, younger” professions – and young people will be the ones filling these jobs. A recent New York Times article reports Millennials currently make up “more than a third of the work force. By 2020, [they] will make up half.”
Why should they become maintenance technicians instead of something else? What can you offer them?
Wiley Metal points out that Millennials “want a sense of purpose and meaning in their employment. An appealing work environment and a team atmosphere is a way to attract and retain Millennials in the workforce.” So it’s less about jobs in a specific industry, than it is about workplace culture.
And Cerasis offers an infographic that cites “25 Must-Haves to Attract Millennials to the Manufacturing Industry,” two of which are: “Keep it clear, simple and direct” and “continuously challenging.” Both ideas make good advice for a training program. And training is key to retaining the workforce you have, no matter the generation. Because well-trained workers are more confident and productive – making them less likely to leave suddenly.
So how you train them matters – both in quality and method.
Training for the next generation
Even the oldest Millennials – in their mid-30s now – are well-versed in digital technology, dependent on their smartphones and apps. The younger you go, the higher the dependency on – and familiarity with – gaming and app-based technology.
Consider kids in middle school now, who will graduate between 2020 and 2024. They’re already using tech like iPads in the classroom, so it doesn’t make sense to use outdated methods like lectures and power points to train them. What does make sense is using the skills they already have to capture and retain their interest.
Video gaming, for instance, is something they have done for approximately a decade by the time they reach their work life. So why wouldn’t you capitalize on that inherent and (by now) natural skill set? Why wouldn’t you run 3D Simulated Training modules on those oh-so-familiar iPads? Especially when it’s not just for Generations Y and Z?
Today’s multi-generational workers have adapted to technology to become what Josh Elman calls “Generation Touch.” The varying age groups within Generation “T” all know how to swipe and tap and click – so it’s time to move training forward to meet this technology too.
The benefits far exceed all hesitations – especially when you consider the ramifications of training so many workers to do such high-risk jobs in a relatively short amount of time.
ROI for now and the future
3D Interactive Training Apps not only make training Portable, Scalable, and Modular – they make it more effective and safer too. Trainees can learn at their own pace in situations that are identical to those they’ll encounter in reality, except for one thing: there’s no actual risk of injury, or damage to equipment.
As an example, see how PG&E trains it’s techs:
And there’s something else. As Boeing notes, technology will result in changes on every front: “Airplane reliability will improve, and maintenance-check intervals will lengthen.” If maintenance checks are less frequent, ability to keep up-to-date and refresh training easily becomes more important. Easy enough when it’s all on your iPad.
Everything about upgrading to 3D Interactive Training is an advantage – so don’t wait until you’re in the thick of an industry shortage to make the change. The simple appeal of “playing” at work might be enough to attract and retain a young crop of future superstars. Making the process of training and working a rewarding one will seal the deal.
Want to know more about 3D Interactive Simulation Training? Schedule a demo today!