The role of academic institutions in tackling the industry’s talent shortage

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At the HR track of Aviation Festival Asia 2017, besides bringing together HR executives from airlines and airports to share their best practices, we are also bringing in some academic institutions to brainstorm solutions on how the industry can tackle the talent shortage.

Vision of a global centralised education facility


John Wensveen, Purdue University

There is a talent gap challenge impacting the aviation industry worldwide and Dr. John Wensveen, Professor of Air Transportation School of Aviation & Transportation Technology from Purdue University has been focusing on solutions. 

Currently, John is developing a new concept for the industry in which he proposes creating either a centralised education facility or up to six regional ones covering all six geographic regions of the world as defined by ICAO. The facility would be owned and operated by industry partners (i.e., air carriers, airports, aircraft manufacturers, engine manufacturers, etc…). The facility would provide on-site, online, and hybrid formats and would address the needs of industry short, medium, and long-term.

The purpose of this model concentrates on industry having a stake in the creation of talent essentially engineering employees of the future while using this resource to further develop the existing employee base. This model reduces the reliability and need for traditional education and training institutions. Trends indicate that the academic institutions are on the decrease while the corporate style universities are on the increase. The need for industry to be more proactive is greater than ever.

In his presentation, John will show a visual of the concept while addressing the trends, challenges, opportunities, and strategies we are facing, to encourage you to think about a new way of creating talent for your organisation.

Assessing current training programmes and what needs to improve


Prof. Graham Hunt, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia

Academic institutions are collaborating with the industry to prepare job candidates. To effectively meet the shortage challenge, universities and training schools have to ensure that the courses are up-to-date as practices and technologies evolve. 

We’re delighted that Prof. Graham Hunt, Head of Asia, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia will be joining us, to offer his insights.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, fully accredited university specialising in aviation and aerospace. Today, the Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus operates a globally recognised learning system that leverages online and face-to-face instruction and a network of education facilities designed to support student advancement in the U.S., around the world and now in Singapore to support Asia Pacific’s aviation industry.

Prof. Hunt will be giving a talk addressing these following areas:

  • How are training courses keeping up-to-date as practices and technologies evolve? What are the new technical and non-technical skills to train?
  • Defining new training methods (including choices of instructors, instruction style, and instructional techniques): How to provide ongoing education to add ground operations professional to develop and maintain both technical and non-technical skills?
  • No one-size-fits-all approach: Trainees’ initial experience and skill levels may be different and rate at which they learn certain concepts and skills may vary. How to provide a flexible training programme that enables trainees and instructors to adapt?

Join us!

Check out our website here to see how you can get involved.

Want to join us as a guest speaker? Email me at

About Aviation Festival Asia
Now entering its 13th year, Aviation Festival Asia is one of the largest and most well-established commercial aviation shows for airline and airport executives from both the Asia Pacific region and across the world. In 2017, we are expecting to welcome over 2,000 attendees to the event, with over 900 airline executives across 7 premium conference tracks covering full service and low cost airline strategy & business models, passenger experience, marketing, IT systems, retail, human capital and more. Book your ticket now

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