Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AME education- Is it worth it? Time for the Govt to take a call?

Neelam Mathews
July 21, 2014

There are some things that are seriously wrong with our industry and one is surprised how they never get pointed out.
I got this story by default. Thanks to social media, I got an SOS from a young man requesting help to be introduced to some MRO companies to keep him as an intern for 6 months which he is willing to do without a salary. Such is the structure of the curricula that without the training at a maintenance facility, he doesn't get a certificate. So far so good, but, now we get into murky waters. MROs at airports are not allowed to take on trainees unless they are hired as technicians "due to security issues." So the same person can enter the airport as a technician -literally forcing companies to fool with books- but not as a trainee as that makes him a security risk! Really!
Why have such a course? Or even better, why not start to update it? We hope the new dynamic minister of education is listening.
We are also hearing that some PSUs are charging the interns for giving them the honor of the experience. This, ofcourse, leaves the have- nots with little choice but getting into debt.
So, what if the young guy who connected with me does not get the internship? He goes back to Class 12, losing 3 years in the bargain as the AME course does not offer any credit for graduation, or, he  ends up selling pakoras on a rainy day. An official cautions: "Its a bad time to enter the business. There are around 5000 students graduating from some 40 institutes a year in India, and just around 25% are absorbed as the industry is not growing."
While these students could be absorbed into the IAF following large offsets committments that include MRO, internal dynamics will need to change. Presently, the IAF takes on 18 year olds and makes them go through a 3-year training before inducting them as airmen. "The talent is available- these tech guys are already well trained. Why can't they be absorbed into the IAF,?" queries an official.
The MoD must make a call on this before we have more frustrated youth on our hands. Anybody listening?

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