(MENAFN Editorial) New markets and workforce development have been highlighted as the two key industry challenges by leaders in the aviation, aerospace, defence and space sectors, met at Abu Dhabi's Global Aerospace Summit last week. Almost half of respondents (44.9 per cent) in a survey of participants, more than 100, at the event believe developing new products and new markets is their key challenge, with more than a fifth (22.4 per cent) believing workforce and human resource development is the primary issue
Human capital development was a core theme of the Summit's agenda and the survey showed clear concerns in this area. The two major issues are talent retention (39.2 per cent) and recruitment of new graduates with the correct skill set (35.3 per cent), with the ability to source appropriate training and development for existing staff (23.5 per cent) following behind
Homaid Al Shemmari, Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala Aerospace and Engineering Services, said
"Human capital development is one of the key challenges facing our industry today. That is true in developed markets, where other education and career choices are winning out against our industries, and in emerging markets, where education, training and on-job experience are all issues.
More than two-thirds (69.8 per cent) of respondents believe that aviation infrastructure in their regions is not capable of handling increased capacity required to meet projected future demand. This figure, coupled with the result that 35.2 per cent believe their industry's growth is not supported and promoted by national government, suggests that the industry needs to demonstrate more clearly the economic benefits it brings
The three regions predicted to witness the most international growth over the coming decade are the Middle East (36.4 per cent of respondents), Chine (30.9 per cent) and other Asia Pacific markets (16.4 per cent)
James Hogan, Etihad Airways' President and Chief Executive, added
"Our industries bring direct economic benefit through jobs and exports. And they are also often 'multiplier' businesses which stimulate far wider economic benefits through trade, tourism and associated growth.
"In Abu Dhabi, for example, Etihad Airway's total economic contribution into the local economy is expected to top 10.73 billion by 2015 “ an incredible impact from a business which has just celebrated its 10th anniversary.
One way in which Etihad Airways has grown is through widespread use of codeshares, strategic partnerships and equity investments. Survey respondents believe this is an approach which will be increasingly adopted throughout the industry. 96.2 per cent believe the next two years will see an increase in partnerships in the airline industry, with two fifths (39.6 per cent) believing that increased formal consolidation through changes in airline ownership will be most likely and half (50.9 per cent) believing other forms of partnership, excluding equity investment, will be the more likely path. Only 5.7 per cent believe in a resurgence of traditional alliances and just 3.8 per cent believe the industry will see a decrease in cooperation
The Global Aerospace Summit ran from 7-8 April 2014 at the St. Regis Hotel, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. It focused on the challenges of driving industrialization and growth across aviation, aerospace, defence and space
The wide ranging themes covered by the Summit included new events for CEOs, dedicated, sector-specific strategy seminars, Defence Industry Closed Door Briefings and a Military, Satellite and Communications session. It brought industry experts together to answer the challenges faced by the sectors and shape future growth strategies
Leaders from companies in both established and emerging markets shared their experiences of supporting industrialization, improving supply chain standards and creating value-added jobs for highly skilled individuals
The second Global Aerospace Summit attracted well over 1,500 delegates from 425 companies in 56 countries