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The aviation industry is essential to the economy and to the everyday life of people who travel long distances on a daily basis for work or even for pleasure. The industry is complex and extremely far-reaching. Understanding at the most granular level what goes on in the life of one of the “gears” of this fast-moving machine can seriously help putting in perspective the immensity and the amount of work that goes into making the aviation industry move forward.


In the European territory, the industry is growing, but it’s not impervious to challenges and pressing issues. One prime example of the growth the industry is experiencing is the Swiss example. Switzerland, being in the heart of Europe, is on the forefront in the rise of the aviation sector. And is notoriously host to many different kinds of entities, from Employment Service Providers to many aircraft financers which are attracted to the central-European nation also for tax rates and regulations that are quite advantageous to financers.

Still, when we talked to an aviation recruitment manager, it appears as Switzerland may be just a diamond in the rough. The situation described by the manager at a high-profile aviation recruitment agency wasn’t idyllic.

The current worldwide climate in the aviation industry can be hard to fully comprehend. And to truly understand the far-reaching implications of the rise or decline of this industry insights and perception is of paramount importance.

The most pressing issues recruitment in the aviation industry faces are shortage of highly-skilled workers, unpredictability, and Brexit.

Let’s explore them in more depth.

Shortage of skilled workers is a big issue. There are more and more aeroplanes flying and air travel has never been easier. Supposing the trend is going upwards, which it almost certainly is considering the innovative nature of the industry, this could represent a big problem to tackle.

In the aviation world you need to make sure that the candidates you are recruiting have all the documentation necessary to be even near an aircraft. Regulations are strict, and it’s quite rare to encounter people who tick all the boxes.

A proposed solution to this skill shortage is almost certainly education.

Educating young people to the excitement of being an aircraft engineer or any kind of worker in the aviation world is key to inject fresh blood in a stale sector, which is in need of a makeover.

Of course, as our source told us, a recruiter can find an employee that meets all the necessary requirements, but here’s where unpredictability comes into place. When people are your main “product” there’s a variable that’s difficult to predict, which is just human nature.

Then there’s Brexit. The controversial exit of the UK from the EU, which became a reality just before the start of February, certainly won’t stop workers from any part of the world from being mindful of their rights to travel and work in the UK.

This could potentially signify a halt in the rise of an exciting industry, where innovation is not only important, but needed.

Jenna Beard, sales manager at VHR, an international technical recruitment organisation providing solutions to the Aerospace & Aviation, F1 & Automotive, Engineering & Defence and Marine industries around the world, has agreed to be interviewed by Accurity to talk about the biggest challenges and little-known aspects of being a manager in the aviation industry.

Accurity: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you started working for your present company.

Jenna Beard: I have been working in the aviation recruitment field forever – started my career for a small privately owned company then left there to join a big PLC and now I’m back working for a smaller privately owned company again. The reason I started working at VHR was a case of good timing I bumped into the CEO at an aviation networking event. He mentioned he had substantial growth plans and was looking for someone to build and take to market the types of programmes that I sold and at the time I had frustrations related to working for a big PLC.

Read the whole interview here