I was invited to take part in an online roundtable discussion last week, on the subject of Employability in Aviation after the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with other industry experts and professionals from diverse backgrounds, we analysed the employment situation within the aviation sector following events and experiences over the past year. The workshop organized by T-C-Alliance in a collaborative effort with EASA’s Together4Safety initiative is a well-thought project with good intentions aim to help in the recovery of the air transport, particularly offering support to people who are about to return to work or seeking to be reemployed within the industry.
During the session, the group examined how the epidemic had shaded the industry’s employment dynamics, affecting indiscriminately organizations and employees alike. At the same time, the panel looked at a wide range of key issues, including:
- Ways to identify skill gaps which may have appeared from time off work
- The effects of long-term absence from the workplace
- The standard of employee health following the impact of the pandemic
- The importance of executive and managerial leadership in supporting employees
Maintaining competencies and skills
Due to the rare state of affairs in aviation, the group focused on Training and Development considering them as key factors for the sector’s speedy recovery. In this sense, the delegates discussed various options such as peer support programs, cross-functional training, refresher courses and competency based learning that could provide solutions and routes for both organizations and employees. As safety always comes first in aviation, the group discussed a number of potential solutions that would support employees to retain, restore and/or enhance their competencies and skills with the view to return operational standards to the highest level as soon as possible.
Finally, having attended this online meeting with a number of committed professionals, to me is more evident now that the recovery of the aviation sector will be a hard process. I would recommend to every organization, company and agency associated with the air transport segment to start this conversation on how to support employees during the transition back to normality. Employers are in a more advantageous position and can facilitate the smooth return to work through a number of options like training, mentoring, coaching or tutoring. They must not fail to adopt one of these as their number one operational priority.