Why the aerospace industry is flying high

With 17% global market share in aerospace industry revenues, the UK is Europe’s top aerospace manufacturer and is second only to the US worldwide. The industry employs around 230,000 people in the UK across the supply chain and creates annual revenues of over £29 billion.

But what are the current trends in the industry and what skills are employers seeking to continue this growth?

Demand for more commercial aircraft

Flying is more popular and affordable than ever – not only does this place more pressure on airports to schedule more flights but it also creates more competition between airlines and drives them to deliver an ever-improving customer experience. Within manufacturing, aerospace employers are pushing for engineers with Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement and Industrialisation skills to ensure the high demands of customers are being met.

The global demand for new aircraft is at record levels with 27,000 passenger aircraft and 40,000 commercial helicopters predicted to be needed by 2032. On top of this, existing aircraft are being re-engineered and upgraded to be faster, quieter and more fuel-efficient in response to a more environmentally-aware world. This involves skilled professionals within airframe, systems and interiors, throughout different stages of the project lifecycle including research, design, manufacture and production.

To meet this demand, employers in the industry are heavily dependent on the skills of refitters, design engineers and systems engineers, amongst others.

Driving efficiencies

With more demand for aircraft and tighter budgets and timescales for delivery, many aerospace companies are looking to improve processes and increase efficiencies. To drive these efficiencies, employers are seeking Quality Engineers with experience in lean methodologies, specific AS9100 and other EASA standards.

Due to the skills short nature of the industry, aerospace companies are beginning to open up to the possibility of hiring candidates from other sectors. For example, they could well find the distinct skillsets they’re looking for in a sector where knowledge of niche principles such as PPAP and APQP are more prevalent, such as automotive.

Convergence of engineering and technology

From recently attending the Farnborough International Airshow, our specialist aerospace consultants saw the latest technology being used in the industry first hand. Many were particularly impressed with hover bikes, 1-man mini helicopters and augmented reality technology. One aircraft that stood out was a Leonardo Helicopter model, which has been designed in a way which provides the smoothest flight possible and enables medics to operate during flight.

It is clear that it is not only the commercial aero industry which is under pressure to perform better and more efficiently but also the defence industry.

Across all sub-sectors, the aerospace industry is entering an exciting phase. From manufacturing engineers with experience of different materials including composites, additive manufacturing and metallurgists to design engineers with experience in cabin interiors, mechanical components and systems, aerospace companies are seeking talented engineers across a range of disciplines.

You can view our latest aerospace jobs here.

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