LHT Renews Training Efforts Amidst Return To MRO Growth

Credit: Lufthansa Technik

Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is ramping up its training programs and recruitment of young staff following a pandemic-related slowdown in its normally robust workforce efforts. LHT says its apprenticeship program participation has finally returned to numbers comparable to pre-pandemic, and it has also restarted its dual-study program after a two-year hiatus.

This year LHT is taking on 209 apprentices and dual students across its various business units and locations. It is training 153 apprentices between its Hamburg and Frankfurt facilities for roles such as aircraft mechanics, tool mechanics, electronics technicians, aircraft electronics specialists and cutting machine operators.

It will also have 17 logistics-focused apprentices at Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services, 11 aircraft engine mechanic apprentices at Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey, four aircraft mechanic apprentices at its Berlin facility and a mechatronics engineering apprentice at Lufthansa Engineering and Operational Services.

Last year LHT had only 126 trainees, compared to 246 trainees in 2019. The training class in 2019 had more than doubled compared to the previous year due to high MRO demand, and the MRO still maintained 240 apprentices in 2020 despite resorting to a short-time working plan across its business.

Earlier this month, Lufthansa Group reported that its MRO segment had returned to profit in the second quarter of this year, contributing €112 million ($115.8 million) to group earnings before interest and tax versus negative €120 million (-$124 million) from the airlines. The growth in MRO is driving clear demand for more workers.

According to Barbara Koerner, head of training and dual studies at LHT, it “needs reinforcements for the decade ahead,” including mechanics and engineers for its production divisions and staff members for its logistics and commercial business segments.

This perspective reflects Boeing’s recent Pilot and Technician Outlook, which predicts that recruiting a younger workforce will be crucial to meeting demand for 610,000 new maintenance technicians through 2041. The OEM expects 120,000 will be needed in Europe over the next two decades.

“We are competing with many other companies that are preparing for the changes brought about by the upcoming generation change and increasing digitization,” says Koerner. “The job market has changed a great deal: In a constantly evolving world, we increasingly find ourselves in the situation of no longer being able to choose but having to be chosen as an attractive employer. In this respect, vocational training of highly qualified workers remains one of our most important measures for securing the future.”

In addition to its “tried-and-tested” recruitment methods, LHT is deploying new ways to entice young people to MRO careers. These include social media, online and printed advertising campaigns, including ones targeted at public transport and fast-food restaurants. LHT also plans to ramp up its trade fair presence and cooperation with schools and universities.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.