Addressing Skills Mismatches in the Aviation Maintenance Industry
The instrument has been in operation between 2008 and 2013.
The instrument has been in operation between 2008 and 2013, during which time it enhanced the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology's (MCAST) capacity to continue the provision of vocational education in the aviation sector.
The educational aspect naturally falls under a general educational policy, but the aim is to boost the sector as a whole through better quality employees, hence the relevance to both employment and economic policy.
To reduce the skills mismatch in the aviation maintenance sector by improving training availability and ultimately, the employability of people working in that sector. This project provided basic and advanced training in aircraft maintenance, avionics systems, aircraft structures and composites, which laid the foundations for expert knowledge, competences and licensing in the aviation maintenance sector. This served to improve the MCAST’s training programme portfolio in this area and provided better trained people for this sector, to thus counter the lack of skills found in the aviation maintenance sector.
The instrument aims to address the lack of skills presently encountered in the aviation maintenance industry at technician level, whilst at the same time establish the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology as an approved maintenance training organisation offering training programmes in aviation, while using the aviation sector to increase participation in science and technology.
Aim of policy instrument
Main responsible body
The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) was the agency responsible for the roll-out and implementation of this instrument.
The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) together with the students of the courses were the beneficiaries of this European Social Fund programme, while MCAST was also the implementing body of this instrument. It provided the necessary capacity for the instrument to be implemented, such as teaching staff.
A total of €2,100,432 from the European Social Fund (ESF) has been committed to help implement this policy instrument.
1) People employed in the Aviation Maintenance industry can access better training opportunities and improve their skills.
2) The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) will improve its capacity and quality of courses being thought when it comes to the aviation sector. 3) MCAST Staff will improve their academic proficiency.
4) Students finishing compulsory education are able to continue their studies and later work in the aviation maintenance industry under this instrument. 5) Adults outside the formal education system are able to tap into the aviation sector with new learned skills under this instrument.
Use of labour market intelligence
People applying to be trained under this instrument where divided into three separate groups; Category A Training, Category B1 Training and Category B2 Training. What separates the three groups is the experience and skills of their members. This was done in order to build different courses depending on this experience, so as to avoid repetition and waste of time for the applicants themselves. However, all of these groups and their members reached a common standard in aviation maintenance.
No financial schemes or incentives are used within this initiative. However, students that have finished compulsory schooling and started attending the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology under this scheme, received the monthly stipend given by the Government to students attending higher education.
Frequency of updates
The content used in this policy instrument was not frequently updated, however the separate groups of students, as well as the teaching staff itself, received different training, upon which the Institute responsible for aviation at MCAST, based its curriculum, which therefore changed according to the needs shown during these courses.
The approach taken by MCAST in implementing the instrument was not adjusted during the term of the programme.
No serious challenges presented themselves during the implementation of this instrument.
MCAST's close contact with the aviation industry and the setting up of the Aviation Maintenance Training Centre, helped to increase the success rate of the policy instrument.
The greatest indicator of success for this instrument were the number of students that graduated from the programme every year. Another indicator that proved how successful this programme was, is the 47% increase on the number of workers capable in working in the aviation maintenance industry in Malta, after completion of the instrument.
Evidence of effectiveness
The policy instrument helped 208 people to graduate with aviation maintenance skills, which was a 47% increase from the people that were already working in the sector. 75% of these graduates managed to find a job in the aviation sector within 6 months of the completion of the course. The increase in the number of specialised personnel in the aviation maintenance sector, as well as the added educational capacity that MCAST has received, has led to a greater presence of companies working in the aviation sector in Malta. The increasing number of companies working in the aviation sector that have located their base in Malta might not have been the direct intention of this instrument, however it has proven successful in this regard as well.
Engagement of stakeholders
The Ministry for Education and Employment and the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology were in constant engagement throughout the planning and implementation of this instrument. Both stakeholders relied on this instrument in order to build the vocational capacity of MCAST, when it comes to the aviation maintenance industry.
The successful implementation of this instrument in Malta was aided by the ever-growing aviation industry in the country, which is always looking for more employees with high vocational educational standards. EU Member States and other countries that do not have an strong aviation industry might be presented with certain barriers when it comes to implementing such an instrument.
The instrument lasted 5 years between 2008 and 2013 with the help of the European Social Fund (ESF). Due to the successful implementation of this instrument, MCAST and its Aviation Maintenance Training Centre are able to continue training people to address the skills mismatching in the aviation sector.