This new training programme will focus on areas such as assembly and repair of aerostructures, quality in aeronautical manufacturing, technical aeronautical English, aeronautical quality management and interpretation of prints, among others. Professional training in the Andalusian aeronautical sector has also received a major boost with the Aeronautical Qualifications Recognition Programme, which is already being used as a model for other regions and will enable new qualifications to be considered in the near future as regulated professional training

Training courses in the Andalusian aeronautical sector have made significant advances in recent years.

The growth in terms of turnover and employment in the Andalusian aeronautical industry over the last decade and the development of programmes such as the A400M has highlighted the need to address this area, which is fundamental in order to consolidate this trend in the future. In this respect, the training and professional qualification of workers in the sector has now become one of the motors of the Andalusian economy.

Andalusian aeronautics will receive special attention from the Employment Ministry of the Andalusian Regional Government during 2010, with more than 25 training courses for both the unemployed and workers who are seeking to improve and expand their job skills. The aim of these courses for 2009-2010 is to equip the aeronautical sector with new training initiatives to ensure the suitable qualification of professionals at different levels of the sector and thereby cover the existing demand. These new courses will mainly be offered through the Andalusian Foundation Training and Employment Fund of the Andalusian Regional Government and the UGT and CC.OO trade union confederations.

They will focus on areas such as aerostructure assembly and repair (the category with the highest number of courses offered), quality in aeronautical manufacturing, technical aeronautical English, aeronautical quality management, Adaptation to Higher and Intermediate Aeronautical Quality Technician and interpretation of aeronautical plans, among others. The courses will mainly be offered in the provinces of Seville and Cádiz. This programme is the culmination of the work carried out by authorities and the Andalusian aeronautical sector to generate a greater number of training options in order to satisfy the demand for qualified professionals in the sector.

These qualifications are complemented by the courses in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Seville, and the different specific training and employment programmes which the Andalusian Regional Government and the sector has promoted in recent years.

Recognition of qualifications

One of the most successful initiatives so far in this process of expansion and updating of training and professional options in the aeronautical sector is the adaptation and recognition of qualifications linked with the aeronautical industry. Until now there was only one Andalusian Professional Training course in this field, the Aeromechanical Maintenance course offered at Palma del Río in Córdoba.

In the near future a higher course in Avionics Maintenance will also be introduced. “For the last four years, EADS and Airbus have been promoting the adaptation of professional qualifications to cater for those areas which are truly required in this field” highlighted Jesús Ramiro, manager of Training Services for EADS in Spain.  “In this sense, we have outlined to the different educational and employment authorities the main areas which we consider to be of the greatest importance in order to update training in the sector.The response to our concerns from both universities and occupational training bodies has been highly satisfactory.”

An example of this collaboration between the European aeronautical consortium and Spanish and Andalusian institutions is the series of Masters degrees which have been established by the of Seville (Aeronautical Industrialisation and Global Supply Chain), the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Flight Tests and Composite Materials, currently being developed), the Carlos III University of Madrid (Masters Degree in Integration of Aeronautical Systems) and the School of Industrial Organisation (Aeronautical MBA in Seville and Madrid). “All these Masters degrees, for which EADS facilitates its know-how through educational material, facilities for practical work experience and part of the teaching staff, are intended to be future Masters degrees under the Bologna Accord,” stated Jesús Ramiro. “This collaboration between the EADS Group and these educational institutions is enabling us to cover the growth in contracting of professionals by the sector in Spain and more specifically in Andalusia,” he indicated.

On the same way, EADS, itself, has recently collaborated with the Hélice Foundation on the course of Strctural Calculation Nastran Pastrab directed to the engineers of the auxiliary companies and what have been given during last March in Aerópolis In terms of aeronautical professional training a major impulse has been given with the Aeronautical Qualifications Recognition Programme in Andalusia. This initiative by the Employment Ministry of the Andalusian Regional Government is also being used as a model for other regions such as Madrid.

“This programme has identified 10 qualifications, including Aeronautical Structure Assembly, Installation Assembly, Manufacture of Composite Materials, Functional Test Technician, Aeronautical Inspection-Verification and Electrical Manufacture, among others. Although these different areas started out as occupational training courses, in the near future our aim is for them to be incorporated as regulated professional training. The necessary steps are being taken in this sense through the National Qualifications Institute and the State Employment Service for their recognition and preparation of the corresponding Professional Certificates” affirmed the training manager of EADS.

Training catalogue

The efforts made so far to provide further resources for professional training in the Andalusian aeronautical sector have resulted in the inclusion of a total of 80 training specialities aimed at professionals in this field which are included in the training catalogue of the Employment Ministry.

These specialities include a wide variety of professional fields linked with the aeronautical sector, ranging from wholly technical areas such as manufacture, production, assembly and maintenance of aerostructures through to others related with management, coordination and quality in aeronautical businesses, as well as the application of new technologies for aircraft design and aeronautical technical English, the general language for the sector.