Quality talent key for aviation industry’s sustainable recovery: experts

HCMC - Vietnam should pay more attention to training quality talent, which plays a key role in the sustainable recovery of the aviation industry post-Covid-19, Vietnamese and Australian aviation experts said at the “Future Careers in Aviation in Vietnam” forum hosted by RMIT University Vietnam on July 13.

Experts speak at the “Future Careers in Aviation in Vietnam” forum – PHOTO: RMIT UNIVERSITY

According to experts, the aviation industry is essential to the growth potential of all economies, especially for Vietnam as a developing one. In the age of globalization, the aviation industry essentially facilitates the mobility of not only people but also imports and exports, as well as foreign investment.

As the economy grows, the aviation industry also becomes clearly indispensable. Indeed, in Vietnam, this core industry has witnessed “massive growth prior to Covid-19 as a result of increasing tourism and stronger economic development”, Duong Tri Thanh, former CEO of Vietnam Airlines, said at the forum.

Industry leaders also emphasized an increasing demand for airport development and management staffing in the near future. Major plans for infrastructure overhaul are still underway and classified as being of national importance. 

Vietnam Airlines executive vice president Nguyen Chien Thang observed that the huge investment in aviation infrastructure and the potential growth of maintenance, repair and overhaul services indicated a strong demand for related jobs.

The aviation industry has suffered the most from the halt to globalization due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19. However, it is forecast to be the first and the fastest to revive after the crisis because of its essentiality to economies worldwide.

Therefore, once the pandemic is over, the aviation industry needs to be well-prepared, experts said.

Currently, the Vietnamese aviation industry relies heavily on imported talent both for professional and management positions, which is deemed costly and wasteful for a country with a substantial working population such as Vietnam.

According to Ho Ngoc Yen Phuong, vice president of Vietjet, the aviation labor market has become bigger but not enough to afford its potential in terms of both inputs and outputs.

“If pilots, cabin crew, aviation engineers and managers can get professional training at universities or aviation academies, that will not only create more job opportunities for young people but also support the development of the industry,” she said.

Recognizing these systemic problems, Professor Pier Marzocca, associate dean of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation, STEM College, RMIT University, stated, “For the sustainable recovery of aviation, it is essential that we have the right people to support the management and operations of the entire aviation ecosystem.

"If Vietnam becomes successful in training its talent to reach international standards, in the near future, the country can aim to supply high-skilled labor in this field, first regionally, then globally.” 

RMIT University held the Aviation Industry Forum on the occasion of the establishment of the Bachelor of Applied Science (Aviation) program in Vietnam.

The forum offered opportunities for Vietnamese and Australian aviation experts and educators to create a network, further understand the needs of the industry and push for necessary and immediate policy guidance to further grow the industry. It is an initial point for the long-lasting Vietnam-Australia partnership in aviation education.