Keywords: aerospace technicians, airframe and powerplant, space exploration, aerospace technology, careers
Selling space: revitalising interest in aerospace technology careers
The recent call by US President George W. Bush to renew the spirit of discovery and undertake an ambitious plan to explore space, including manned missions to the moon and Mars, has highlighted a significant stumbling block to progress, namely, a shortage of aerospace technicians. Historically, such technicians have come into the aerospace industry with an aviation technical background and received supplemental training from employers, but an aging workforce decimated by aerospace layoffs is failing to meet current demand and would fall far short of achieving the new vision. This paper explores the reasons for that shortage and public and private efforts to address this issue.