Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Talent Gap" in US Aerospace and Defense Industry

“Talent Gap” In US Aerospace and Defense Industry
The US Aerospace and Defense industry is running on smaller US defense budgets and increased efficiency and money saving requirements. These changes have constrained this industry in its search for young talent that can more easily find job prospects in high tech industries in the United States. The Aerospace Industries Association estimates that of the 70,000 engineers that graduate from American universities each year, only 44,000 are qualified for work in the aerospace sector. Of those qualified applicants, this sector is competing against companies such as Amazon, Google and AT&T, who pay much more for their services.

Demographic changes of a large population exiting the sector increases the need to acquire talent for a sector that demands high skilled workers three times more than the average American economic sector. Another pitfall is the background checks required by companies that deal with sensitive or classified aspects of the defense industry. This makes recruiting from foreign countries more difficult. STEM international students can be acquired in the health and other tech industries, but unless changes occur to create pathways to citizenship, the applicant pool becomes smaller.

Companies have adjusted their recruiting strategies to focus Millennials by engaging social media ad campaigns and improving the workplace environment. For example, Northrop Grumman has implemented a rotation system that pairs new employees with a mentor and rotates them among 4 jobs in their first 2 years. New education partnerships must be created in order to acquire talent directly from universities. For example, General Electric Aviation has invested $6 million to sponsor 6 UC researchers and 19 UC undergraduates and postgraduates over the next 3 years. A lot is at stake for companies such as Boeing, where 30 percent of their engineers could retiree today if they wished. The “talent gap” for aerospace and defense firms must be addressed quickly before competing countries are able to catch up to US industry. Sources: National Defense MagazineBBCStrategy&Alix Partners

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