AVB: What is the Joramco Academy?
Ramzi Mansour: Joramco Academy is an independent, technical training institute that provides a comprehensive education under EASA Part 147, to prepare graduates for productive careers in aircraft maintenance with special emphasis on the needs of the aviation maintenance sector.
The academy was established in 2007 and provides a world-class, technical, practical and applied education and training, to the standards of IR Part 66 at its facility in the Kingdom of Jordan. This is done in association with and on behalf of Air Service Training (Engineering) of Scotland and Jordan Aircraft Maintenance, Joramco.
AVB: What differentiates your Part 147 training program from others?
RM: Joramco Academy is an EASA Part 147 approved basic training organisation that provides a very unique ‘Sandwich Course’ for Part 66 Category B license for fulfilling EASA licensing requirements in real working environments and modern aircraft technologies.
An industry–leading program that develops ‘Fit-for-Industry’ experts integrated with the workflow. The four-year program combines both the theoretical knowledge and experience requirements. This providing a comprehensive education and developing maintenance competencies and real maintenance environment practice carried out at the region’s leading Part-145 Maintenance Organization Joramco.
The academy also delivers a two-year EASA Part 66 (B) foundation course that provides a comprehensive theoretical overview of aircraft systems and maintenance processes. This conventional two-year program is developed to meet the needs airline/MRO employees and cadets, who require only theoretical training to qualify for Aircraft Maintenance License.
In addition to the basic maintenance training programs, Joramco Academy provides a number of short technical and maintenance courses to meet the needs of airlines and maintenance organisations. The academy is also an approved examination centre for EASA Part 66 (B1 &B2).
AVB: How have you continued to expand the capabilities of the academy?
RM: The academy has worked over the past years on developing a number close partnerships with leading educational and training institutes in order to support future growth of its graduates and the aviation maintenance industry. As a matter of fact, the academy is in the process of introducing new aviation maintenance training and qualification programs to its training portfolio. This includes maintenance Type Training and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) training and examinations to support growing needs of the aviation maintenance sector in Jordan and the Middle East.
We also work with leading Jordanian and European universities and the vocational education sector to establish academic cooperation in the field of aircraft maintenance and keep the quality of training at a high level. The academy today has an agreement with the University of South Wales. This allows Joramco Academy students who have successfully completed their EASA Part 66 basic course B, to apply to the university’s top-up program of 12 months’ additional study to the obtain a BSc (Hons) degree in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering.
AVB: Can you share some details on your recent agreement with the AACO Regional Training Center?
RM: This cooperation is a very good example of how Joramco Academy works to support the growing needs of the civil aviation industry in Jordan and the Middle East. Under this agreement, the academy and the Regional Training Center of Arab Air Carrier Organization (AACO) collaborate to devise and deliver joint courses in the field of aviation maintenance training for engineers and technicians of AACO member airlines at AACO Regional Training Center (AACO-RTC). Courses offered here are different in the sense that are short and modular ones that provide the theoretical knowledge and targeted towards airline employees with pre-existing experience.
AVB: How would you rate the level of talent availability in the region?
RM: As the regional economies expand and airlines take delivery of thousands of new commercial jetliners over the next 20 years, there is an extraordinary demand for people to fly and maintain these aeroplanes.
To meet this tremendous growth, the experts forecast that between now and 2036, the Middle East will require some 66,000 new technical personnel, which accounts for nearly 10% of the industry total. Big are the numbers. However, workforce data analytics has provided for a much more sophisticated and educated examination of trends ranging from demographics to factors that affect career decisions among specific groups of people.
This situation is dramatically different from a mere decade ago when speculation and fears arose about a pending so-called ‘grey tsunami’ that promised to decimate the aerospace industry. Here I would like to share some of the characteristics of the changing labour force landscape for stakeholders to consider in future workforce strategy creation.
The aviation industry globally has a higher ratio overall of individuals who fit the definition of Baby Boomers, (1946-1964) among other industries at 35% but rates low to as near half that in terms of the percentage of Millennials (1981 and 2000). Those under the age of 36 also called Generation Y, at only 17%, compared to 34% of the global, all industry workforce being Millennials (i.e. half as much). The industry’s average employee age is 47 years, a number that has not changed in years, compare that to average employee age of 32-35 years in industries like Information technology, media and banking. Airlines and maintenance providers in the region need to work more effectively on developing, hiring and retaining the right people to ensure a talent pipeline for the future of the Middle East maintenance sector that is growing at 6.7% a year — twice the global average — and likely to account for 11 million man-hours a year within the next half-decade.
Although might not be a major challenge for young communities like Jordan, however, the aviation industry needed to be aware of the changes in its workforce demographics and produce strategies to adequately address the changing landscape in order to be able to build and guarantee an adequate pipeline of labour. Challenges for the future will include filling the front-end of the workforce over time (Generation Y), by clearly building career paths for young workers and attracting individuals from other industry sectors. Advancing the training programs, embracing emerging technology, providing opportunities for learning and development are some key strategies that need to be considered for the future.
AVB: How has the technical training for aerospace engineers changed over the last decade?
RM: As a matter of fact very minimal advancements has been made in maintenance training over the past decades, only recently we are observing some shy moves towards the use of virtual or augmented reality to support practical training. Practical training in real maintenance environments remains the key component to develop the skills and competencies of aviation maintenance technicians and is a requirement for fulfilling EASA Part 66 (B) licensing, where the focus needs to be put. Joramco Academy is at the forefront playing a key role in developing the global and regional pool of aviation professionals and helps create a sustainable future aviation maintenance sector. This is thanks to its industry-leading comprehensive training program that combines the theory with direct access to aircraft onsite and deep MRO knowhow.