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T&T nationals are being prepared to take their place in the global aviation industry. Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, said the industry is expected to suffer a shortage of 75 million technicians by the year 2025. Speaking at an outreach programme hosted by the National Energy Skills Centre at the Todds Road Community Centre, Karim said studies by global consultation firms indicate that the demand for skilled aviation jobs is rising constantly.
He said the aviation, drilling school and maritime schools run by his ministry are not only training labour for the local market but equipping nationals to get jobs abroad. Karim said classes will start soon in aircraft maintenance, mechanics and engineering and other technical areas, even as the aviation institute is under construction at Camden in Couva.
The minister said several agencies, including Metal Industries Company Ltd, the T&T Air Guard, UTT, the T&T Civil Aviation Authority and National Helicopter Services Ltd, have come together under the umbrella of his ministry to conduct programmes. In addition, agreements have been signed with helicopter firms Augusta Westland and Sikorsky and the Guyanese Aeronautical School to train T&T nationals.
Karim said discussions are being held with a technical institute in Singapore to train nationals in aerospace engineering.