Davidson Nzekwe-Daniel

Davidson Nzekwe-Daniel, Apprentice, Sahar Group – Aerospace Division

Growing up as a child in Nigeria, I lived close to an airport and seeing airplanes take off and land was what sparked my interest in aviation. Then I always wondered how things fly. My passion for aviation has led me to achieve:

– B.Eng. Mechanical Engineering, University of Benin
– M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering, Swansea University
– A.S. Aviation Maintenance Management, Broward College
– Airframe Certificate, Federal Aviation Administration
– Powerplant Certificate (Currently Testing)

I currently work as an apprentice at Sahar Group – Aerospace Division. 

The Critical Role of Mentoring in Curbing the Industry Shortage of Aircraft

This research dissects the current industry shortage of aircraft mechanics and aims to present the critical role that student mentoring programs can play in curbing the personnel shortage.

Apart from the aging and retiring global population of aircraft mechanics, another main reason for the shortage is the declining completion rate from A&P school. Only 25% of students who attend A&P school end up obtaining the mechanics certificates and ATEC (Aviation Technician Education Council) has estimated that 30% of these end up accepting jobs in another profession on the basis of more attractive wages and benefits. Earlier this year, Boeing’s Market Outlook projected that 189,000 new mechanics would be needed in North America alone to meet the industry demand over the next two decades. This is a far cry from the current annual average.

A practicable and evidence-based approach of replenishing the diminishing workforce is to boost the completion rate of students from A&P school and guide these students until they eventually join the workforce through mentoring programs. From survey data analytics conducted during this research, 89% of students opted that they find difficulty in passing the FAA mechanic certification exams. This struggle has in effect caused a bottleneck between A&P school and the industry. In 2018, I founded a mentoring platform called Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) at the Broward College Aviation Institute in an attempt to bridge that gap between A&P school and the industry. CPT offers refresher courses to help students to reinforce the skills required to pass the FAA exams as well as create a platform where students can engage industry professionals as mentors to guide them in their career path. Since inception, CPT has been responsible for the certification of fifteen new mechanics.

This presentation will delve into other root causes of the workforce deficiency experienced today; explore statistics from credible sources and identify those strategic areas where major stakeholders will have to plunge their resources in order to meet the personnel demand which is imperative to the sustenance of a robust industry.