More than 73% of respondents in a new survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expect the major areas of job growth in the aviation industry to be in ground operations, customer service and cabin crew.

The results of the global survey of human resources (HR) professionals in the aviation industry highlighting key challenges in talent acquisition, training and retention.

About 48% of respondents reported that finding new talent is a challenge, both because of the lack of availability of candidates with the right skill levels and qualifications as well as, in some cases, salary demands of new applicants.

In addition to the salary and benefits package of each employee, the HR professionals identified career progression opportunities (49%) and development and training (33%) as high priorities in job satisfaction and retention.

Only 28% of respondents reported that current training is effective, with many organisations seeking to complement their in-house training with external partners to improve the effectiveness of the training.

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Safety and customer service skills are priorities for hiring managers across the industry. The survey found that, while technology is indeed changing the customer service role, it is not replacing it.

Guy Brazeau, IATA’s director of training and consulting, said the forecast growth in passenger traffic will necessitate careful planning in the appropriate staffing levels across many job categories in the industry.

The survey intentionally did not address the forecast shortages of pilots and maintenance technicians, as future requirements in these specific workforces have been widely covered already, according to IATA.

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