This year’s running of the MEBA show includes one day dedicated to the next generation of the region’s business aviation workforce. Known as “Futures Day,” the event will include seminars, talks and interactive sessions on the show site. Close to 500 undergraduates from five universities in the region have been invited to participate.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to join this industry,” said Ali Al Naqbi, founding chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA). “[Futures Day] is a chance for upcoming industry leaders to interact closely with potential future employees.”
Exhibitors have been encouraged to host students at their stands and at their aircraft in the static display area. “There is a great need for talented graduates to get into the aviation sector, which requires thousands of new recruits across all disciplines simply to maintain current growth rates,” said Al Naqbi. “We hope those taking part will provide helpful information to those students who will become the business aviation professionals of the near future.”
MEBAA also encourages local universities and other educational establishments to expand their current curricula to accommodate subject matter pertaining to the business aviation industry, such as flight planning, aircraft handling and technical services. MEBAA already supports educational facilities by encouraging and arranging student internships, academic scholarships, research paper competitions, student-networking events, career fairs, and aviation professional days, such as Futures Day at MEBA 2014.
Al Naqbi concluded, “The demand the industry is facing in the near future will force us as an association to work closely with the governments and original equipment manufacturers to provide scholarships for the young students. Futures Day is one of the first steps that the association is taking to introduce young students to the business aviation industry.”