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Overcoming Global Talent Mobility Challenges for Aerospace Technicians

Keeping aircraft in the skies takes many skilled people working together. Demand is high for qualified aerospace technicians from avionics specialists to aircraft mechanics, sheet metal workers, quality control inspectors, and aircraft interior techs. However, supply is an ongoing challenge. Fortunately, there are solutions available for finding technical aerospace workers if organizations are willing to expand their search. 

With Regional Aerospace Talent Drying Up, a Global Approach Is Essential

The talent pool is not so much shrinking as it is shifting. Historically, a high percentage of the world’s best and brightest technicians graduated from institutes like the National School of Aerotechnics (L’École Nationale d’Aérotechnique). But over the last decade, attendance rates for this excellent school have dropped to record lows, making it difficult for U.S. and Canadian aerospace companies to fulfill their talent requirements. 

However, Latin American talent is on the rise providing a solid supply of qualified, well-trained, and experienced technicians. From a staffing perspective, professionals from Mexico, Central & South America are ready and willing to fill in the gaps for our clients worldwide. Our own most recent office addition is in Colombia, where our engineering team brings enormous value to our organization and to our clients. 

Overall, we’ve found that skilled professionals in the LATAM talent pool are highly motivated to advance their careers. They are even willing to brave a change from tropical climates to the harsh winters of Canada to build their future. This global talent mobility has been a boon for GoJet. After exhausting the local talent pool of qualified people, they turned to our AeroStaff division to cast a wider net to support heavy maintenance for their 150 aircraft. We have 11 technicians currently placed there are 15 more placements in progress. This is likely to be a recurring program to ensure GoJet has a solid supply of talent going forward.

Governments Are Collaborating to Support Transfer of Knowledge and Skills

While the work visa application process is often long and arduous, there are exceptions for niche domains where governments recognize a severe shortage of available talent. NAFTA in particular has many allowances for getting skilled labor where it is needed most. We work closely with our business immigration attorneys to keep tabs on where it is easiest to source talent and gain visa approval for each type of role. 

With border closures due to COVID, it’s become more essential than ever to understand travel restrictions and other challenges that can impact movement of workers across regions. One thing remains true: globalization allows you to find what you need – if you look hard enough. Working within the regulations and guidelines to find the exemptions. Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, the Philippines, and other host countries are all potential sources for qualified candidates depending on their trade agreements. 

Insights for Employers Considering Global Talent

Hiring across cultures can seem like a leap of faith. However, we have found from decades of working with thousands of skilled professionals from around the world that standards for knowledge and technical excellence are high. Our clients have experienced the same thing when augmenting their local workforce with the talent we source.

Word of mouth is still the best way to fill jobs with great people. When we start calling our candidates, they aren’t always available. But chances are high they know someone who can fill the job. They are always happy to help us make that connection. This shortcut saves enormous time vs. trying to contact everyone on the list. 

The right people may already be where you need them. Earlier this month, a client called to ask if we could find an auditor and fly them out to do a project with a supplier in Chihuahua, Mexico. The person they were going to send had a last minute emergency. We didn’t put anyone on a plane. Instead, we called an auditor we know already in Chihuahua who was happy to do us a favor and get the job done ASAP. Within 48 hours, the audit was completed. Our client called it good luck that we had the perfect person ready to go locally at a moment’s notice. We call it having a great network of international resources.

Our Top Piece of Advice for Skilled Aerospace Technicians Seeking Opportunity

If you get an offer from GAL AeroStaff to come help one of our clients, just say yes and let us figure out the details. With visas, travel, housing, and all the other moving parts, there will be situations where the timing doesn’t go exactly as planned. Being flexible is one of your most valuable traits in creating the career path you want in a global economy. We WILL get you where you need to go and make sure everything works out. That’s our job and what we’ve promised your employer.

Need to staff technical aerospace positions with skilled talent? Contact us today