EASA Part-66 distance learning for the military

The journey into commercial aviation is a popular choice amongst many in the military as well as ex-military personnel, but few are aware of the process that this involves. Aviation maintenance is an aging industry and companies are gravitating more towards licensed engineers. Although unlicensed engineers do still remain in the workplace, the demand for licensed engineers is high as most companies are very keen to employ those who have already completed their studies and can dedicate all of their time to the job.

The ability to study online to gain these licences can benefit the majority of students, none more so than those within the military. Many ex-military staff choose to qualify as a licensed engineer to help their civilian employability, and the type of licence studied for depends on the trade carried out within the military. The four main types of licence are Cat A, Cat B1, Cat B2 or Cat C – for more information on these click here. Job prospects are more readily available for those qualified to work on aircraft that require complex maintenance tasks. Once licensed, students are able to certify not only their own but other engineer’s maintenance work as well, leading to higher paying post-military opportunities. Licence conversions are also on offer, so those learners who already possess a B1 or B2 licence can extend to cover the other categories which in turn makes them more employable.

“Getting some of my B1 modules out of the way was really helpful when I left the service and was applying for jobs, as I didn’t need my employer to accommodate time out of work training, or help me financially.” Pete Foreman, Training Manager (Resource Group)

In order to obtain one of these licences, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have to be provided with certificates confirming the relevant EASA Part-66 Modules have been passed. EASA is the European Union Authority of aviation safety, and they set the training standards an organisation has to meet to be able to deliver training and exams. Accompanying these, to become a licensed engineer you must also undertake a CAA-specified amount of practical experience within an approved maintenance organisation. We would always advise keeping a detailed record of all hands-on experience in your logbook, as it may reduce the duration of work experience required.

For those leaving the military there are a variety of funding options to support the journey to becoming a licensed engineer, details of which can be found here.

“As someone who has personal experience of using Enhanced Learning Credits to book training whilst still serving in the military, I can’t explain enough how beneficial it was for me to be able to study in my own time whilst still working my standard shifts. It meant that I wasn’t having to take large amounts of time out of my annual leave allowance, nor was I having to travel to a training venue every day.” Pete Foreman, Training Manager (Resource Group)

Resource Group’s Aviation Technical Training division have successfully trained many students from the military, and have found that the flexibility that distance learning provides is ideal for those who are still preparing for their life post-military. All of our courses can be fitted around pre-existing shift patterns and responsibilities; ideal for going through the transition period at the end of service. With the ability to study in their own time and at their own speed, both on base in the UK and overseas, serving members of the military can gain a B1 or B2 licence at their own convenience. This is vital to allow the best opportunity for all military personnel to gain additional training that will help as they move into the civilian jobs market.

With ELCAS funding often available for students from the military, our Aviation Technical Training department would be happy to hear from you. Enquire here or call +44 (0) 1285 772 669 for further details.



New era for Resource Group after management buy out

A successful management buyout of Resource Group’s Aviation and Aerospace Resourcing business (including Contractair Ltd) and its Aviation Technical Training business has been completed. The management buyout team has been led by Stephan Hickman who has 19 years of experience running various businesses in the group and who has assumed the role of CEO. Joining Stephan as part of the senior management buyout team are Jonathan Price (COO) and Ian Fitzpatrick (Group Managing Director for Training Services) both of whom have a wealth of experience within aviation and aerospace and as part of Resource Group. A new CFO has been recruited who will be joining the business in due course.

Under the MBO these businesses have been acquired by a newly incorporated company (Resource International Group Investments AG), which is registered in the canton of Zug, Switzerland. Financial partners in the transaction include Capital Transmission SA (Virginie Fauveau and Frédéric Tixier, Geneva, Switzerland) for the equity and leading bank, Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd, for the financing.

According to Stephan Hickman: "Resource Group serves an industry with well documented skills shortages and by bringing these Resource Group businesses together we are able to focus on and grow the unique value proposition we offer by delivering blended aviation recruitment, training, project management and global staff deployment solutions. We have evolved into an aviation and aerospace skills business that can provide anything from ad-hoc support to fully managed outsourced resourcing and training solutions. The management team and I are extremely honoured to be entrusted by our partners and investors to deliver our vision for this business, which will be achieved mainly through organic growth although a strong appetite remains for complimentary business acquisitions. The Resource Group brand holds significant value in the aviation and aerospace sectors, as such we will be retaining the brand and continuing to operate as Resource Group."



Resource Group complete Cyclotour du Léman

A delegation of cyclists from Resource Group are proud, and a little tired, after recently completing the Cyclotour du Léman on Sunday 21st May in order to raise money for charity.

Group President Richard Price has a connection with the Nepallai charity, supporting the rebuilding of a school in Nepal following the 2015 Earthquake which wreaked havoc on the country. As a team, our seven cyclists were able to raise a total of €550 which has been sent directly to the charity to support their work

The course itself took a circular route around Lake Geneva totaling 176km, although our team took it one step further, adding an extra 12km in their cycle to and from their hotel base.

Robin Hepworth, Business Manager for Resource Group’s Flight Crew Services division said:
“This event was a great opportunity for us to work together as a team doing something we enjoy for charity and although it was tough at times, we were treated to great weather and spectacular views across Lake Geneva. Despite our cycling team consisting of varying skill levels and abilities, we worked really well together, with all seven riders crossing the finish line within three seconds of each other”.

The rules of this challenge are strict, with check points needing to be hit at certain times and an average minimum speed of 23kph required; not your usual comfortable weekend ride! With the total distance being completed by Resource Group’s team in 7hr 52mins they were well within this target, averaging 25kph across the course and avoiding being disqualified, as they would have been had the checkpoints not been reached in time.

This is not the first cycling challenge that Resource Group have undertaken, with our debut in lycra taking place in 2014 for the TAG Aviation Paris to Farnborough ride where we had five riders raising money for Fly2help. In 2016 we did the return leg with a team of eight cyclists, and six of this team continued their pedaling in this years’ challenge – indeed four hardy team members have taken part in all of the rides so far. On each challenge, the cycling team have been well supported by a team member traveling by car to each check points to help with their progress.

Robin Hepworth also added:
“Prior to starting the first challenge back in 2014 many of us had never cycled properly, and now it is a hobby we really enjoy, and taking part in these challenges is really rewarding and a great way to raise money for some important causes”.

We are waiting to hear what the challenge in 2018 is going to be, and which brave personnel from across Resource Group will take up the baton and continue our proud fundraising tradition.



Focus on: Andrew Gavan

Head of Apprenticeship Centre

Andrew joined Resource Group (formerly Lufthansa Resource Technical Training) in 2009 having originally come to us during his CAT A engineering apprenticeship. He worked for numerous airlines and operators as a flight line engineer, before moving back to LRTT as a trainee instructor. This progressed into a full instructor position, before he started the Apprenticeship Centre in 2013. Andrew took a year-long sabbatical in 2016, and returned to us in February 2017

When did you discover your passion for aviation?

My passion for aviation started very early on when I was in primary school, possibly earlier than that. My first memory of my love for aviation was being taken onto the flight deck at an old air museum at Cardiff Airport when I was 4; my imagination took over and from there I got the bug for all things aviation, flight and aircraft.

What has your journey been like over the last 20 years?

My professional journey into aviation started with a flying lesson for my birthday when I was 14. The aviation bug grew further and I started flying lessons at 16 with my part-time job at an airport. I flew solo at 17 and gained my PPL in the same year. One thing led to another and my career turned towards education and engineering; engineering has been in the family for many years and I worked within the family business, manufacturing widgets and components that would soon end up in all sorts of installations around the world. I spent time in the education sector for an awarding organisation, using my knowledge and skills to impart information on engineering to a younger generation. Sitting behind a desk everyday left me yearning for more, despite having a good role – I don’t like to sit down for too long.

I saw a small advert in the local paper for an aviation engineering apprenticeship. Combining my two passions, aviation and engineering and being paid to learn, I embarked on a career in an ever changing landscape that has excited me and kept my passion alive every day since. From completing my apprenticeship, to working as an aviation engineer, to being a Part 147 instructor and to where I am today - it still gives me the drive and the energy to want to achieve more. This is not just for myself but for others who want to be in the industry, I enjoy the opportunity to share the passion and to impart some of my experiences and knowledge in order to make a difference to people’s careers and to the industry as whole.

What has brought you back to work for Resource Group’s Aviation Technical Training division?

Very simply, I missed working in a dynamic environment with apprentices in an ever changing landscape. Seeing an individual from first receiving their CV through to interview, to them being awarded an apprenticeship, put through their Basic Part 147 CAT A training and seeing them achieve a CAT A licence, all within a 30 month period is truly unique. The justification came when I had an apprentice who had not set foot on an aircraft before who 24 months later walked me around a B787: its’ systems, its’ ability, and how it worked compared to other aircraft. The imparting of their knowledge to me – for me that is the reward. Seeing individuals flourish in a job that they admire and have a passion for and being directly at the ‘coal face’ to share that experience with them.

Can you notice any significant changes in aviation maintenance apprenticeships and the training environment in the last few years?

It is changing constantly and apprenticeships are changing, being updated continually to meet the demand of the skills shortages and the technological changes within the industry. The journey of an apprentice now is more robust, the rigor of the training second to none, industry recognized and Civil Aviation Authority approved. Emphasis is being driven towards behavioural competencies as well within apprenticeships, which given the nature of our industry the drive to be safe and work safe is an important element.

What are the biggest challenges companies face in recruiting new apprentices?

The biggest challenge in my view is the changing dynamics of the industry. We have a large workforce who are retiring and not enough of our younger generation to fill those people leaving the industry. Airlines are faced with continually tight budgets which has a knock on affect to training. The ability of an experience, mature engineer to impart their knowledge and wealth of experience onto a new apprentice is priceless; but the fast paced environment that the industry embodies could create a knowledge and experience gap that we haven’t seen yet.

How do you think the aging aviation maintenance population is impacting the way the industry looks at apprenticeships?

The retiring population of the aviation maintenance industry is having a knock on effect and is leading to skills shortages. As a training provider we are supporting employers in training apprentices to learn the skills needed for the jobs that the employer requires. However, it is essential that the experienced personnel within the industry are there to support the apprentice. They are best placed to impart their knowledge and skills to the next generation of engineers and to provide a nurturing role to ensure that new engineers have the knowledge, competencies and behaviors that are required. The retiring population in aviation also have the ability to help instill the ethos and ethics of the aviation industry for apprentices; further benefits that a manual, training package or webinar cannot teach an individual.

How do you think the new government led Apprenticeship Standard will impact the industry and the skills gap within aviation maintenance?

As a result of the reforms by the Government, the new Apprenticeship Standards has been designed to meet the changing needs of employers, learners and providers. Resource Group (LRTT Ltd) has been an important employer and provider, who are also part of the employer working group (trailblazers) in helping to shape these reforms under the new Airworthiness Apprenticeship Standards. The new apprenticeships aim to give employers control in designing apprenticeships, increase the flexibility of delivery, simplify the funding system and increase the effectiveness of training. We as an organisation have welcomed the reforms and have built a robust Apprenticeship syllabus and programme to support and achieve the Level 2, 3, and 4 programmes that we will be offering to employers.

The benefit of the new Apprenticeship Standards being employer led should help to reduce the industries skills gaps, supported by government funding. The apprentice will be employed and paid to learn by the employer, with the employer then supported through government funds to enable the apprentice to achieve their goals and career aspirations. At the same time, this is enabling employers to fulfil their needs within the industry and thereby reducing their skills shortage.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Apprenticeship programme go to www.resourcegroup.co.uk/join-us/apprenticeships or message Andrew here.



​​eLearning

Something that we have all heard of and probably used, potentially without even realising it.

Referring to the computer network enabled transfer of skills; eLearning includes processes such as web based learning, virtual education opportunities and other digital collaboration. These can range from simple text and graphics to fully integrated multimedia comprising audio support, video, animation, simulation and other interactive tasks such as a question and answer system.

Through a generic e-learning consultancy, IATA has commented on the benefits of eLearning and the training challenges faced within aviation:

“Using eLearning and online training can significantly lower costs for airlines. For most aviation industry courses, it will be more cost-effective to organize large parts of the training through online modules. These online training modules are easier to deliver to students all around the globe without the need for trainers or training facilities. They can also be updated much faster and allow students to study at their own pace at any time and from anywhere they want.”

One of the main benefits of using eLearning is the reduction of training costs. Without the need to pay for accommodation, travel, venue hire and with the time out of work minimised; training costs can be significantly reduced. The ability to offer flexible training, tailored specifically to individual job roles can eliminate redundant and duplicated content ensuring that the learning is relevant to all.

Delta Airlines has seen a significant reduction in their training costs since implementing their Learning Management System (LMS). It has been estimated that their training time annually has been reduced by as much as two weeks a year, saving the company millions of dollars annually. They say:

“Delta has made significant inroads in converting much of its compliance training to an e-learning format. For example, during one quarter, the airport customer service division delivered 348,000 hours of e learning versus 561,000 hours of ILT. To date, 17 different courses in this division have been converted from a live classroom to eLearning format. The real benefit from eLearning comes with repeat training. A ground security coordinator, for example, receives most initial training in a live classroom. However, 80 to 90 percent of recurrent training for this position is completed via self-paced eLearning.”

For our clients, eLearning gives benefits across the board with improved knowledge of what is available as well as the cost implications and efficiency of learning supply. Our eLearning content is maintained and updated regularly ensuring it is industry relevant and compliant while being targeted to specific job roles eliminating redundant training. Our courseware is designed to be flexible allowing remote workers and part-time staff to access content 24/7 globally, at their own pace ensuring equal access no matter what their requirements. By stimulating these communities of learning we have the ability to increase the ease of sharing materials across the industry.

With the reduction in administration and costs as well as enhanced accessibility for all and the fast-paced nature of the Aviation industry, we can only expect eLearning to continue growing in popularity as our course offerings develop alongside the industry.

For more information about our aviation maintenance and Flight crew eLearning courses, visit: http://www.resourcegrouptraining.co.uk/ or contact our team.

References/Sources



​​Meet Our Training Development Team

With the launch of our new Training Development Service, it is time to meet the team of experts responsible for understanding your real time issues and identifying key elements for a successful training intervention. Our team of subject matter experts will work with you to create and deliver custom programs that operate within a compliant governance and management framework, producing the most relevant solution for your needs.

Samuel Foreman, eLearning Developer

Responsible for the team's creative element, focusing on eLearning course design and preparation as well as drawing from a wealth of experience in teaching and curriculum design. Sam helps to creates bespoke, student orientated courses that take an active approach to learning, engaging with the student and cultivating the best possible learning environment.

Greg Thompson, Training development Technician

Responsible for the development of notes relating to the avionics modules, as an former instructor he brings with him a vast amount of knowledge and in particular technical expertise in creating animations and graphic representations of the relevant modules. Our web-based training courses, such as Human Factors, are currently in the process of being updated by the Training Development team.

Dean Simpson, Technical

Responsible for updating our current module notes, ensuring that they are all in line with any newly published regulations and EASA guidelines. Dean has extensive experience in the RAF from a mechanical perspective, and has spent a great deal of time working with engines and air frames. The notes Dean works on form part of our modular course study.

If you would like more information on the services offered by our Training Development Team or how we can support you, please contact us.



​​Focus on: Neil Williams

Head of Training Delivery for Resource Group’s Aviation Technical Training division

​​What has your journey been like over the last 3 years away from Aviation Technical Training?

Quite a challenge, I went to Resource Groups’ Unmanned Aviation Services division initially as a Training Manager and ended my time there as Head of the Business. I maintained close links to the wider group and we shared the divisional director Ian Fitzpatrick. I was privileged to be invited to participate in the House of Lords EU transport working group paper on unmanned aerial vehicles. I presented at numerous conferences and really enjoyed working this emerging business sector.

​​What has brought you back to work for Resource Group’s Aviation Technical Training division?

Whilst the Unmanned Aviation Services division was all I could have hoped it would be, I think I recognised my real passion has always been in manned aviation, engineer training. When I was told of the opportunity at our Aviation Technical Training division, and the impressive plans for expansion into new global markets I jumped at the chance to lead the Training Delivery teams where I could pull on my extensive engineer training experience from 36 years in the industry.

​​Can you notice any significant changes in the aviation maintenance industry and training environment in the last few years?

Growing air traffic demands, technological advances and Boeing’s 2015-2034 forecast foreseeing the doubling of aircraft in service numbers has made way for a changing landscape within Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul. We will only see this continue as the Aviation industry responds to new regulations and demands.

Technological advances have been a major focus within the training industry and these advances have led us to produce digital training media, which is delivered to apprentices on tablet devices. The training delivery teams are also planning to enhance lesson delivery, with a real focus being placed on e-Learning and webinar-style instruction sessions for a global marketplace.

It is clear that students are looking for innovative training solutions. Our new training development department identifies key elements for a successful training intervention for digital natives and is able to produce the most relevant solutions for its customers.

​​What do you think our customers look for when choosing a training provider?

First class training facilities, exceptional quality training delivery and customer focused flexibility - “we’ll deliver to your exact requirements wherever and whenever you need it”. Aerospace is a global industry and training providers need to have a global reach as well.

​​What do you look for when expanding the instructor pool?

We focus as much on the potential development of our instructors as we do on their on-paper qualifications and experiences. We have started a graduate recruitment programme to grow an in-house instructor resource. It is Resource Group’s policy to recruit from a diverse pool of initial applicants, and we have technically qualified individuals from many different backgrounds.

​​Do you think there is a greater need for licenced maintenance engineers in the field than there was 3 years ago?

Yes I do, in a January 2016 Aircraft Maintenance Incident Analysis (CAP 1367) produced by the CAA t states that, “Maintenance error continues to be one of the most obvious safety threats from an engineering or airworthiness perspective” and that “Training is essential as engineering skills and good practice does not materialise out of thin air.”. This clearly shows that safety is high on the CAA’s agenda therefore, it is very important that we have licensed engineers ready to support maintenance of new and existing aircraft.

This is also backed by the consistently strong demand for B1 and B2 courses within the market. We have more courses scheduled in 2017 than ever before, to support this demand. Our challenge going forward is to bring even more flexibility to the student, with more training locations and the ability to organise learning around those who are in full time employment.

​​How important is the environment that students are working in whilst completing their training/Apprenticeship?

A students learning environment is crucial when training within what is a safety critical role. As the CAA states in its CAP 1367, Aircraft Maintenance Incident Analysis. “It is through good training and competence assessment regimes and creating a culture that fosters good engineering practice that will reduce the likelihood of errors.”

Our state of the art facilities and highly qualified team of training professionals have this at the forefront of their minds when training individuals, and this competence and experience has led to us being described as “ the best training provider in the UK.” I see this as being one of the most important functions of my new role, “Head of Training Delivery” to maintain a great working environment for our apprentices. We focus upon ensuring the very highest standards of safeguarding, accommodation, health and safety are maintained at all times. This ensures our clients come back to us year on year.



​​Aviation Technical English: Vital training for Engineers, Technicians and Trainers

Safety will always be the most important factor for any organisation or individual that operates within aviation. In an industry where the smallest of indiscretions (such as the misreading of instructions or technical terms) can have the greatest of consequences, it is imperative that maintenance personnel have the most up-to-date understanding of technical English possible.

According to the CAA’s Global Fatal Accident Review (CAP 1036), maintenance or repair errors directly resulted in 273 fatalities between 2002 and 2011, 4% of all aircraft crash fatalities during that period. These accidents can have severe ramifications for the airlines and MRO’s involved, both from a financial aspect as well as being very damaging to their reputation. Any learning tools that can be implemented to avoid maintenance or repair errors should be utilised within the industry.

Human factors are of great importance in maintenance environments, with one element of this being the problems generated by language barriers in the workplace. English has long been established as the language of aviation and is the most commonly used language within an aeronautical environment by engineers, technicians, production workers and instructors. However, with less than 10% of the world’s population speaking English as a first language there remains a risk to aviation safety.

The term ‘aviation English’ is generally used to describe the ability to understand (in English) aviation vocabulary terms. This ability to communicate precisely in English both in the air and on the ground is crucial for any aviation operational activity. ICAO states that an airport operator should ensure that all operational personnel are trained and competent to operate in those safety-critical areas. With this in mind Resource Group’s Aviation Technical Training division has developed an Aviation Technical English course, designed and built in house to assist in the reduction of the potential safety risks caused by the use of incorrect language.

For more information on our Aviation Technical English course please click here.



​​What is the real cost of airside safety?

The airside region of an airport, can be one of the most dangerous working environments within aviation. The hazards if left underestimated or undealt with have the potential to result in catastrophic accidents and/or very serious incidents.

Potential risks range from a Runway incursion; serious damage to aircraft, vehicles and property; operating in adverse weather conditions; through to serious personal injury that could lead to a loss of life.

On 27th March 1977 the deadliest runway incursion in history occurred at Los Rodeos Airport in Tenerife, airplanes were forced to park on the taxiway, requiring aircraft to taxi and backtrack on the runway and as a thick fog descended over the airport two Boeing 747 passenger jets collided killing 583 people.

Despite this being an extreme example, business losses from airside accidents due to a poor level of airside safety can be huge. Poor airside safety can result in

  • A compromised level of Aircraft Safety and the potential for a catastrophic accident.
  • Costs of compensating and replacing injured employees
  • Contractual penalties or loss of revenue if flights are delayed
  • Damaged assets
  • Loss of reputation

In the United Kingdom, there are two regulatory bodies that preside over the airside areas of airports, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and in 1995, due to concern for the high level and extent of damage caused by the aircraft during ground handling and the associated risk to passengers and the workforce on the ground, they created the CAP 642 Airside Safety Management. This provided guidance to aircraft and airport operators on safe operating practices in the airside environment. Since its creation there have been five iterations of the document and it is still recognised by the CAA and the HSE as a guide to airside safety.

IATA state that “safety compliance in airside safety operations is the key to avoiding costly incidents and damaging accidents” and as described above the hazards in the airside environment have the potential to cause costly losses on both a business and a personal level.

Furthermore, according to the CAP 642 Airside Safety Management, many of the losses caused by poor levels of airside safety are not covered by insurance. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) studies have shown that the uninsured cost of accidents can be 36 times greater than the cost of insurance premiums. On top of this directors, managers and nominated post-holders can be held personally accountable for failures to control aircraft safety and occupational health and safety.

So is the cost worth it?

For more information on our Airside Safety Course please click here


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