Aerospace trade training schools are trying to attract the workforce the industry needs, while companies’ order books are full. Educational institutions rely on concrete experience to spark interest and fuel passion.
The shutdown of the airline industry, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is only a distant memory. “We have returned to the pre-pandemic level, and the order books are all growing,” observes Mélanie Lussier, CEO of Aéro Montréal.
To meet the expansion in demand, companies in the space sector have a great need to find trained personnel. However, the context of labor shortage does not make things easier. “The difficulty in finding qualified labor is a growing concern which could become a brake on growth,” warns Mélanie Lussier. If companies want to be able to deliver their entire order books within a reasonable time, they must be able to fill vacant positions and replace those who retire. »
By 2033, there will be 41,569 positions to be filled in the aerospace and air transport sector in Quebec, according to the latest census from the Aerospace Sectoral Workforce Committee (CAMAQ).
A jump in registrations
The training seems to attract more and more people. In any case, this is the observation made at the Montreal Aerospace School (EMAM), where, in one year, the number of students jumped from 220 to 380, reports Karine Fournier, director. from school.
Despite this meteoric growth, the school is still ready to welcome more applicants to its machining program to train the machinists the industry sorely needs. The school cannot meet all the demands of businesses. EMAM’s other programs also provide guaranteed jobs at the end of training, namely mechanical assembly, structure assembly, precision sheet metal work, as well as cable and circuit assembly.
Companies are not left out to help EMAM attract candidates. Some offer remuneration to students enrolled in the work-study program (ATE), which allows both those enrolled to be on the floor very early in their training, and businesses to support the development of their future workforce. -work. “It’s a path where everyone is a winner,” says Karine Fournier.
Not a day goes by without a company telling me that they are looking for workers.
Pascal Désilets, director of the National School of Aerotechnics
Recruitment and expansion at ENA
However, the National School of Aerotechnics (ENA) does not fulfill all of its aircraft maintenance, aerospace engineering and avionics programs. This lack has pushed the school to turn to the regions for two years. The ENA partners with companies that represent it with secondary schools, such as in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, where the air carrier Propair promotes the training offered by the school located in Longueuil.
The ENA is increasingly opening the doors of its facilities so that young people who may be interested can see the reality of aerospace up close. With 38 planes and helicopters, including an A220, the school has something to make your eyes shine.
This seems to be successful if we rely on the increase of more than 25% in attendance during the establishment’s last open days. “It’s significant because half of the admitted students first came to our open days,” emphasizes Pascal Désilets. And the school will host an air show in June, featuring the Snowbirds and F-18 fighter jets. More than 25,000 people are expected, with the opportunity to discover the school’s facilities.
On another level, the École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) also ensures that its students are often in the field. Each year, “easily 300 to 400 interns” go to aerospace companies, says Hany Moustapha, professor at ETS and holder of the CRSNG-P&WC industrial research chair on integration and optimization. of the propulsion system.
Also, the ETS will deploy its future aerospace department on a neighboring campus of the ENA in Longueuil, allowing the two educational establishments to find synergies, in particular bridges facilitating the pursuit of studies of ENA graduates. . Thirty million dollars will be invested in this campus. And in September 2025, the ETS will receive the first cohort of its new bachelor’s degree in aerospace, which will contribute to meeting the needs of companies in the sector.