Magazine article PM Network

Aerospace Needs Project Managers to Take Off

Magazine article PM Network

Aerospace Needs Project Managers to Take Off

Article excerpt


In 2004, the aerospace industry-particularly in Europe and North America-went from experiencing a "jobless recovery" to realizing a surprise upswing in business that left some companies struggling to hire enough staff to meet production schedules. Project management may be one area where the field is facing a deficiency.

By October 2004, a "significant balance of Top 100 aerospace companies were planning to increase their workforce over the next 12 months," according to the January 2005 issue of aerospace magazine Flight International.

Aerospace employment in the United States, for example, has been steadily increasing since it bottomed out-total employment reached an all-time low of 572,000 in February 2004 but was expected to exceed 590,000 by the end of last year, according to figures from the Aerospace Industries Association.

Chicago, III., USA-based Boeing is one of the companies that is rethinking its recruitment plans after laying off tens of thousands of workers in the past few years. "We wildly exceeded our expectations ... the plan was 5,000 new hires, but we are going to hit 8,000," Boeing's director of global staffing, Rich Hartnett, told Flight International.

"We got caught short about two-thirds of the way through the year," says Christopher Whiteside, managing director of West Sussex, U.K.-based component supplier AJ Walter Aviation. "We had to take on 20 percent more staff due to taking on additional contracts. For the last three years, we have had a strategy of natural wastage, not replacing people who have left. …

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