…As Stakeholders, Professionals, Airlines Advocate Effective Mentoring, Catch Them Young Strategy
The Rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT),Capt. Abdulsalami Mohammed has said that without competent personnel to man the various machines and equipment, in the aviation industry the safety and sustainability of civil aviation is not guaranteed.
He said this while speaking at the MamaJ Second Aviation Careers Conference with the theme , Mentoring For Effective Human Capital Development in Aviation” at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport(MMA),Lagos today.
The NCAT Rector, who was represented by Engr. Waheed Disu, added that the undisputed fact about aviation is that human capital development is the back bone of civil aviation.
*Some of the potential aviators at the conference
“I will start by reiterating an undisputable fact: which is that human capital is the backbone of civil aviation. Aviation is becoming increasingly technology-driven, but there is no gainsaying that without competent personnel to man the various machines and equipment, the safety and sustainability of civil aviation is never guaranteed. Therefore, for a country to grow its aviation industry, sufficiency and competency of the personnel is paramount.”
Aviation fundamentally, Abdulsalam said is an interplay and interaction of closely linked elements and that every flight involves myriad of inter-connected categories of activities that cuts across a complex chain of partners, which includes airlines, airports, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSAPs),ground handlers, system providers, security screeners, among others .
These aspects of the industry, the Rector pointed out are to be handled by professionally trained personnel such as pilots, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) aeronautical engineers, aircraft maintenance engineers, Aviation Security (AVSEC) personnel and a host of other professionals, who work in close collaboration to ensure safe flying at all times, adding that as a result aviation provides huge employment opportunities for the youth.
The NCAT boss said that already, aviation youths today views job opportunities with a critic’s eye and are seeking for jobs that offer job satisfaction and innovation, adding that there is the need for the aviation industry to adapt to the changing dynamics the general of its potential employees and the general job environment.
He contended that in view of the fact that a shortage of experienced and highly skilled professionals is likely, it is highly commendable to prepare ahead with a holistically and proactive plan to that can correct such shortage.
“Basically, there are two ways we can handle this: First, by effective and robust mentoring programme foraspiring and young professionals. Experienced aviation professionals must connect with aspiring young people to guide, inform and inspire them about the industry. This chance to meet with industry professionals will give the young ones opportunity to ask the relevant questions about the aviation sector and be able to decide which area of aviation best fits them. It is also a chance for them to get firsthand information on skills they might need to develop and innovations they might need to introduce to the aviation industry,” he said.
Abdulsalam added that NCAT as the leading training organisation in the country, has keyed into the ICAO NGAP programme and that the college is partnering with some state governors, entrepreneurs, and philanthropist Nigerians to provide scholarships for indigent young Nigerians interested in pursuing careers in aviation to study in the college.
He contended that the interaction between the aviation professionals and aspiring aviators would in the other also benefit the professionals too as it would be a chance for them to get feedback of what the industry looks like from an outsiders’ view and what the prospective employees seek from their prospective employers.
Joining ideas, innovations and skills, he stated would prove to increase capacity building in the aviation industry.
According to him, “The second is by developing a new generation of aviation professionals that can step in to take over from the aging professionals in the industry. Fortunately, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is at the forefront of this goal with the introduction of the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP).”
Earlier, the Organiser of the event and the Chief Executive Officer of MamaJ Aviation Consult Limited, Joy Ogbebo stated that the gathering that the aim of the conference was to introduce and mentor aspiring next generation of aviation professionals and participants on career opportunities that exist in the aviation industry as well as honour and celebrate aviation professionals, stakeholders, who have contributed immensely to the growth of the sector.
According to her, “As a non profit career initiative, our desire is to promote aviation education advocacy for youths .In an emerging world, the need for knowledge sharing and information cannot be over emphasised . Amazing careers opportunities awaits you young minds in the aviation and aerospace industry.”
She continued,” Aviation future is here .Countries that are advanced and have taken aviation to the next level are the ones that have taken proactive steps to develop human capital. There are no better time to start investing in the next generation of aviation professionals through human capital development..The best time to start mentoring the youths is when they are still very young. For us at MamaJ Mentoship Academy , it is a privilege to be able to work with talented young people; helping them find a path into their aviation career.”
Other stakeholders at the forum harped on the need for both airlines, stakeholders, professionals, aviation training institutions to collective carry out effective mentoring to catch them young, adding that it is only this way the aviation industry can tackle the dearth of aviation professionals in the country