Reforms needed to attract ground handling talents – IATA

The International Air Transport Association has called for holistic reforms to manage the long-term need for a stable talent base for the ground handling sector.

The IATA reports that thousands of ground handling staff left the aviation industry during the pandemic. Now as aviation ramps up, the severe shortage of skilled ground handlers is shedding light on the need for reform to stabilize the talent pool.

In a news brief titled “Reforms Needed to Attract / Retain Ground Handling Talent” IATA urged the ground-handling sector to;  adopt a stronger talent acquisition strategy, streamline onboarding processes, and develop a more compelling retention proposition.

IATA’s Senior Vice President for the Operations, Safety and Security, Nick Careen, at the body’s Ground Handling Conference said, “The peak northern summer travel season is fast-approaching, and passengers are already experiencing the effects of bottlenecks in getting security clearances for staff at the airport. Additional resources are needed to accelerate the processing times for employment security clearances which can be as much as six months in some markets.

“The shortages we are experiencing today are a symptom of the longer-term challenges to achieve a stable talent base in ground handling.”

IATA, however, recommended an awareness campaign to highlight the attractiveness and importance of ground operations in global logistics and transport operations.

It also, among its recommendations proposed the adoption of 25by25 campaign to help address the gender imbalance across the industry, apprenticeships in partnership with trade schools to revitalize candidate pipelines, and career path mapping to demonstrate long-term prospects for people entering the sector.

“An industry-wide approach to lay the foundations for more efficient talent recruitment, onboarding and retention will pay big benefits in terms of efficiency for all concerned. The cornerstone is the standardization that can be achieved with the adoption of the IGOM. Its global implementation will have a huge and positive impact on all aspects of ground handling, including talent management. The potential is to shift working in the sector from having a job to developing a career,” said Careen.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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