Aero Contractors has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria on manpower development.
The objective of deal is for Aero, which has a growing aircraft maintenance facility, to support the training of young Nigerians at the schools and some of them would be absorbed by the airline after the training.
The historic signing ceremony was performed in Zaria, Kaduna State, by the managements of both organisations at the weekend.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aero, Capt. Ado Sanusi, the MoU with NCAT, a regional centre of excellence of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), would facilitate On the Job Training (OJT) for NCAT student engineers.
Aero Contractors apart from being the oldest airline in Nigeria, has Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) certified to conduct comprehensive maintenance checks on B737 aircraft and it is also expanding to conduct maintenance on other aircraft types like Boeing New Generation aircraft, Embraer and Airbus aircraft as well.
Sanusi explained that with the MoU, student engineers from NCAT would be trained at the Aero MRO, noting that the pact would set in motion the annual OJT for NCAT student engineers for a period of three months to enable them gain practical experience on aircraft maintenance knowledge before proceeding for another specialised intense training at Aero’s Rotary and Fixed Wing Departments.
He said on completion of the three-month training, Aero Contractors would offer immediate employment to the best 10 student engineers that would emerge from the training.
According to him, five trainees each would be distributed to Aero Rotary and Fixed Wing departments, adding that the decision was in support of the federal government’s policy of creating employment opportunities for the youth.
“As an MRO, we are also mindful of replacing our workforce and the best thing to do is to go and partner with a known institution that can supply the manpower and you make sure that they are trained, they have the basic training and then they would now come to your maintenance facility and then they would understand your own maintenance procedure and on that job training is where they would get the experience and they would pursue their careers, some of them would have experience in different fields.
“So this is a very important signing of MoU to us as an MRO because we are now having a steady supply of quality manpower to our organisation. That is why when I came I was pleasantly surprised to see the improvement in the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology under the leadership of Capt. Abdulsalam Muhammad. They are moving towards the real time maintenance of these electronic aircraft that we have like the NGs, A220s, the Embraers and everything,” Sanusi.
Mohammed said the partnership with Aero was a unique one and a momentous phase in the training of Nigeria’s future aircraft engineers.
He disclosed that the institution has enough students who are ready for their On-the-Job training and they would be immediately sent to Aero Contractors. Mohammed commended Aero over the promise to employ 10 of the students, saying it would reduce the rate of unemployment among pilots and aircraft engineers.
“The problem of lack of job opportunities in aviation is a great concern to me personally. As CEO of a training organization, it’s painful to see young qualified Nigerians finding it difficult to secure jobs,” he added.
“This collaboration is unique in the sense that both parties have a long history in the aviation field (Aero being the oldest airline and NCAT the oldest aviation training organisation; additionally, Aero is the first MRO and NCAT is the first ATO to be certified by the NCAA).
“Human capacity development is fundamental to the sustainable development of aviation. However, achieving the goal of sufficient and efficiently trained manpower demands a sustained synergy and partnership among the critical stakeholders.
“Therefore, this occasion of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between NCAT and Aero Contractors, which is an MRO is a momentous phase in the training of Nigeria’s future aircraft engineers,” the Rector said.