2015, MTU Maintenance has increased its global workforce by four percent for the same time period, stated Christoph Humberg, head of HR for the company in Hannover.
MTU Maintenance is still looking to fill positions, but challenges differ according to local conditions. The company’s Zuhai, China, facility, for example, has not noticed a shortage of qualified applicants, explained Li Hao, training manager. The facility’s training regime runs the gamut from induction through refresher courses. And, generally speaking, employees taking these courses already have graduated from an aviation college or university, so that once they have completed initial and on-the-job training, they can become mechanics, planners, or engineers.
In Germany, however, “it is becoming more difficult to find qualified and interested applicants for apprenticeship-type jobs, as many young people are choosing academic over vocational training programs,” said Michael Siefkens, head of education and training for the company. MTU Maintenance offers apprenticeships for both engine and aircraft mechanics, as part of the German vocational education system, and takes in around 25 paid trainees a year at its Hannover site.
Other apprenticeships at German locations include specialties such as mechatronics, surface coatings and logistics. Under the German system these full-time, paid apprentices can become certified in three-and-a-half years, at which point they are considered qualified to work on engines, under supervision, said Humberg.
Like other MROs, MTU Maintenance is trying to attract young talent. In Germany programs range from participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) events and career fairs to school visits, work experience days, information distribution, etc. “We also have a number of collaborations with universities across the world,” such as with the Maintenance Laboratory (Maintenance Labor), a collaboration with the Technische Universität Braunschweig, which combines theory with practical experience for engineering students, explained Siefkens.
Another program bridges the gap between vocational and university tracks. In Germany MTU Maintenance offers the opportunity to take part in a paid, dual-study program which combines vocational training with a degree. “And we offer a large number of internships and student jobs, including the opportunity for students to join us and write their bachelor’s or master’s theses here on a paid basis,” concluded Humberg.