Is there really a shortage of qualified MRO personnel?

Posted on 21st June 2019 by Lodahl


Is there really a growing shortage of qualified MRO personnel?

And our predictions for the future!


We have been reading this today about the predicted future shortage of qualified MRO personnel and we thought you might also be interested.


We’ve been doing this nearly 20 years and these predictions have been around the industry as long as we have (see this Flight Global article from 2008 ), so we were wondering if the ‘doom mongers’ are really right this time?


Like all markets, there are short-term bubbles where there is a shortage of Licensed Engineers on particular types.  In the oil price boom of 2012 and 2013, there was significant demand for Engineers on S92 and Super Puma but the requirements for these disappeared almost overnight in late 2014 when the oil price dropped dramatically (as did the rates Engineers were paid!).


Since early 2018 we have seen a significant increase in rates for Licensed Engineers in Europe on the main Airbus types and more recently on the B737 NG.  This was started when a large number of A330s and A340s went in for base maintenance and modification, which highlighted the shortage in Europe of widebody Engineers with base maintenance experience.  Traditionally we never had any issues recruiting A320 or B737 Engineers, but the demand for these peaked later in 2018 and pushed the rates up by around 25%.  The competition for these Engineers from MROs has become extremely fierce and the Engineers have become very aware of their own value.


They say only fools try and predict the future, so here we go!

  • Aviation recruitment will have its ‘Uber moment’.  There are huge inefficiencies in the market with qualified Engineers available in one place and MROs who need them in others. This is a ripe area for innovation and a successful entrant to this market will help decrease the skills gap in the short-term and will drive greater efficiency and cost savings in the mid-term.
  • Aircraft manufacturers will build their own MRO capabilities and will be able to sell operators full support packages with their aircraft.  The OEMs have huge influence with government policy makers and will get support to recruit and train large numbers of maintenance staff.  This will give them a longer-term advantage and will lead to some consolidation in the third-party MRO market.
  • The large airworthiness authorities (EASA, FAA, etc.) will work together to standardise personnel licensing, allowing greater freedom of movement by skilled people.



Lodahl Aero Brexit update

Posted on 8th March 2019 by Lodahl

With the continued lack of clarity around Brexit, we wanted to send out a short note to give an overview of the issues and what we are doing to manage our risks.


In the aviation personnel industry, we see two major risks should around Brexit.  The risks are there whatever form Brexit takes but are more pronounced should no Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA’) be made between the UK Government and the EU.


The two main risks we have identified for our business are:-


Personnel Licensing

If there is no WA in place by 29 March 2019, EASA has indicated that UK CAA Part 66 personnel will no longer be able to sign for EASA registered aircraft.  We believe that some form of agreement will be made eventually for recognition of each other’s qualifications, but there may be a short-term ‘shock’ if there is no deal in the next 21 days.


The UK CAA is advising UK licence holders who wish to continue to sign for EASA registered aircraft to transfer their licences to another EASA territory, although the date for this application being processed prior to 29 March has already passed (it was 01/01/2019).


Our position is that it doesn’t make any sense for the UK to undercut EASA when it comes to airworthiness and aviation safety, so we believe that an agreement will be made, and that UK Licensed Engineers will probably be able to take some form of continuation training to maintain the right to sign for EASA registered aircraft (and vice versa).  This will solve the issue in the longer-term, but we can expect some short-term disruption.



Work Permits

To apply for work permits, a company generally has to have some form of local presence.  This will mean that UK based recruiters will be unable to apply for work permits for France, Germany, Spain etc. if they want to send British workers there.  This gives UK based recruitment companies two choices: –

  • Set-up a local office
  • Don’t send British workers on EU assignments


We already have a number of clients who are requesting that we don’t send British workers as they are unsure whether they will be able to use them after 29 March.  We are discussing the situation with clients that are heavily reliant on British workers, but the general position is that there is no real preparedness due to the lack of clarity.



Lodahl Aero’s position

To mitigate the above risks, we have taken a few steps: –

  • We incorporated an Irish company 12 months ago and will move all business which must be supported from the EU to that operation should this be required.
  • We have increased our efforts to expand our network of workers from across the EU so that our clients will have a continuity of service should no WA be agreed.
  • We have registered ourselves as non-resident employers in a number of EU/EEA countries and are ready to upgrade this to having a local branch office should this be required.  We will do this in countries where our customers are heavily reliant on British workers



If you want to find out more about our planning, please give Matt a call on +44 23 8000 1977

Latest Aerospace and Aviation vacancies

Posted on 28th June 2018 by Lodahl

At the moment, we have the following vacancies: –

  • B737 NG and CL line maintenance for summer contract
  • Various Airbus A330 Licensed Engineer contracts – line or base maintenance
  • Dassault Falcon 20 Licensed Engineers
  • Helicopter Mechanics and Avionics Technicians for Super Puma base maintenance
  • Assembly, Integration and Test Engineers for satellites

Latest Aerospace and Aviation vacancies

Posted on 14th September 2016 by Lodahl

We have had a pretty busy summer and are seeing it get even busier as we move into autumn.  We have lots of aerospace and aviation jobs on our jobs page, for example:-

  • Senior Design Engineer for Aircraft Modification
  • Certification Engineer for Aircraft Galleys
  • Logistics Manager
  • LabVIEW Development Engineers for manufacturing technology company
  • Boeing B717 Licensed Engineers for base maintenance contract





Give us a call if you have any questions about aerospace recruitment or aviation recruitment.

Latest jobs

Posted on 24th March 2016 by Lodahl

We have quite a few exciting new jobs in this week, so please visit our aerospace and aviation jobs page using this link 

  • Boeing B787 Licensed Engineers to work in a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean!
  • Avionic and Mechanical Systems Engineers to work in France, Japan or the USA.
  • Project Manager for a major MRO in the UK.

Get in touch

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding our services.
+44 23 8000 1977

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