Expleo, the global engineering, technology and consulting service provider, has released new research which shows that a scarcity of talent with the right technical skills to deliver low carbon goals is fast becoming a critical issue for the aerospace industry.

The majority of aerospace leaders surveyed in Expleo’s Business Transformation Index (71%) believe their organisation lacks the skills needed to capitalise on emerging technologies, as the industry sets its sights on a more sustainable and digitalised future.

Talent shortages in technical disciplines are impacting business transformation plans for 77% of aerospace respondents, as nearly half (46%) make planning for net zero a priority.

Evolving skills landscape

Expleo surveyed 1,395 business and IT leaders – including 183 from the aerospace and manufacturing industries – from large organisations in the UK France, Germany, Ireland, India and the US to understand the impact of the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and inflationary pressure on business transformation. This research informs Expleo’s “Business Transformation Index 2023”, a new report designed to help leaders navigate the rapidly evolving business landscape.

According to the data, leaders are considering the potential of hyperautomation to boost productivity and deal with talent shortages. Nearly half (45%) of aero organisations identified hyperautomation as a major focus area, up from 40% in 2022.

Significant challenges

Jeff Hoyle, Global EVP of Aero, Space and Defence and Managing Director of Expleo, UK, said: “The aerospace industry is facing several significant challenges, the main one being the urgent need to address the technology skills gaps. This is crucial as difficulties addressing the issue threaten to undercut transformation efforts and increase pressure on teams that may already be feeling stretched.

“There is a deficit of tech talent across most economies, so the aerospace sector will need to look at new areas and opportunities. This could include reskilling talent from other industries, as well as considering technology such as hyperautomation to free up time for employees and boost productivity.

“That said, our research found that aerospace leaders are less likely to be aware of productivity-increasing opportunities stemming from hyperautomation than other industries – meaning education will be crucial to developing an appreciation of how this technology can support their organisation.”
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