Malaysia needs more skilled workers in aviation industry

PROFITABLE INDUSTRY: MRO services industry has been identified by the government as a profitable industry and can be one of the ‘black horses’ to steer the nation into achieving a high-income nation status.

KUALA LUMPUR: The global Maintainence, Repairing and Overhaul (MRO) services industry is forecast to be worth US$65 billion (RM195.3 billion) by 2020.

The industry was identified by the government as a profitable industry and could be one of the ‘black horses’ to steer the nation into achieving a high-income nation status.

The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) Laboratories expected the Entry Point Projects (EPPs), listed under the MRO section, to create 21,000 extra jobs and contribute an additional US$4.2 billion (RM12.62 billion) by 2020.

ETP believed rapid regional demand, driven by the growth in major economies like India and China coupled with intensified focus on cost effectiveness in the airline industry, would increase demand in the regional market for MRO services.

MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE), the engineering and maintainence division of Malaysia Airlines, was well-positioned to capture this opportunity.

According to the ETP Handbook posted on its website, the programme was aimed to establish MAE as the anchor MRO services provider in Malaysia, as well as, to develop Malaysia into an Asia Pacific MRO hub.

However, it added that outdated aviation policies and procedures, insufficient talent availability, and the lack of a spare parts eco-system in Malaysia were hindering the industry’s growth.

The director general of the Department of Civil Aviation, Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman recently said Malaysia needed more licenced aviation engineers.

He also pointed out there was a lack of training centres in the country to train engineers with knowledge in general aviation.

Currently, there are eight flight training schools in the country but only five aircraft engineering schools had been certified as Authorised Training Organisations to produce engineers.

The schools are the Malaysian Airline Engineering Training Centre, DILOG Training and Services, Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology, Aeroprecesion Aviation Training Centre and the Malaysian Aviation Training Academy, or MATA.

MATA chief executive officer Sulaiman Dahlan, in an interview with Bernama recently, said a Ministry of Human Resources survey revealed that Malaysia needed over 16,000 aircraft engineers a year, but in the last 15 years, only 3,000 licensed engineers were churned out.

He said the vocation was not being promoted efficiently, thus causing a lack of awareness from the public on how important the requirement needs to be fulfilled.

MATA, he said, was determined to continue the commitment to manoeuvre aviation, through aspiration, in order to assume the primary role in the education and training of aircraft technicians and engineers.

“The aviation industry, especially the maintenance and repair sector, has always been in need of dynamic, skilled and professionally inclined personnel to cope with the increasing complexity and fast growth of the industry.

“We are committed to address the gap required in aviation training ranging from basic to advanced training in line with European Aviation and Safety Agency Part 66 licencing requirement,” he said. — Bernama

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