30 July 2017

I Have A Solution

Pilot Shortage On The Horizon.

I know why I'm not a pilot.  I cannot afford it.

Yet, I have food on the table and a roof over my head.

How is it that I manage the second, but not the first?

I don't need to be a pilot, but I do need food and shelter.

When it comes to something I need, I will find a way to fund it.

Seems to me the folks what need pilots are the airlines.  With this looming on their horizon, why is it still the prospective hire's job to pay the whole cost for licensing and training?

They need pilots, why don't they have training academies?

Why aren't there contracts where our newly winged fledgling has to either work for the airline what brought him up for a fixed number of years or recompense them for their costs?

I've said the same thing about shortages in other places.

Want to weld?  You have to show up already knowing how with certifications.

Same for machinists.

Same for mechanics.

I hear crying from businesses that need these people who can't find applicants.

Write a contract, train them!


  1. The pilot that runs the "askthepilot" blog has VERY specific thoughts on this - pay at the entry level SUCKS (like sub 20K), seniority system sucks, etc. When you hear "shortage of workers to do X" translate it as "Businesses not willing to pay $$ to get the workers" (like in IT, pilots, etc)

    1. With welders and machinists, there really is a shortage of people who CAN do the work.

      Mechanics mostly suffers from a genuine shortage of people with the proper pieces of paper. You notice that I successfully did all four wheel bearings on my Vette. I'd never be hired as a mechanic.

      If airlines are really encountering a shortage from lack of salary, I see another solution...

    2. Andy is totally right. The big liars like Bill Gates yammer on about a big supposed shortage of IT workers, and cry about enrollment in Computer Science programs in the US remaining down by 2/3 from their peak in the late 1990s (before the .com crash). But there is a reason why kids aren't going into IT... they aren't stupid. The jobs aren't there, especially for recent grads. Or for that matter, people who are over 40. There are no entry level jobs anymore. Only entry level salaries for mid level or even senior level requirements. Employers only want people with at least 2-3 years experience, but not more than 5-8 years because they don't want to pay for senior level people. Salaries have remained fairly flat or even gone down, especially if you adjust them for inflation. Companies no longer are willing to pay relocation costs or hiring bonuses. If there were truly a shortage companies would be lining up to hire recent grads rather than a large percentage of "STEM" graduates ending up working in fields other than what their degrees are in or ending up working in jobs not even requiring degrees like as wait staff and bartenders. If there were truly a shortage employers would be offering higher salaries, paying moving expenses or luring people away from competitors with hiring bonuses. But those things are all ancient history, not seen since the 1990s. And employers wouldn't be throwing out experienced workers, but offering them opportunities to learn new technologies.

      Things like welders and machinists, part of the problem is that high schools eliminated most of their vocational ed programs in the 1990s. The belief is amongst most parents these days that all kids must go to college. Even those that aren't interested or really cut out for it. Vocational and technical programs at Community Colleges and other reputable institutions also largely disappeared. Even in the questionable for-profit school market (some good programs, some complete rip-offs) they scaled back a lot on programs like auto mechanics, machinists, plumbers, carpentry, etc. So there really is a shortage of younger people who are qualified to do that kind of work. And for those our age who know how to do the work, but don't have formal education... well, McThag's quite right... SOL. No certificate (or professional license or union membership), no job.

      I also agree... if companies spent 1/2 the time and effort training or re-training people that they do whining about lack of applicants and lobbying for unfettered immigration and unlimited H1B Visas...

      Or in a lot of cases if they'd just give people an f-ing chance... rather than looking for unicorns.

    3. I once interviewed for a place that wanted 5+ years experience with a less than 90 day old release of AutoCAD.

      I knew I was torpedoing my chances, but I NEEDED to tell them that while I had 10 years experience with AutoCAD, it was impossible to have 5 years with a three month old release.

    4. By the way. Business owner: The fact that I am in your building interviewing is a fucking clue that I am willing to accept a lower salary than my experience might suggest. I did read your ad, I saw the line saying what you were offering.

  2. Trade unions. I was a union carpenter for 19 years before I had to retire due to medical reasons. I went through a 6000 hour apprenticeship, 1000 hours in class (over 4 years) and 5000 hours of on the job training. Beginning pay was 150% of minimum wage. Trade unions are supposed to turn out trained workers. I went into the program knowing a lot-my Dad was a union carpenter as well. As an apprentice if you fucked up or fucked off you were out of the program. In my little berg, the city runs the police academy and just like the carpenters union time in grade and further training gets paid more. Trade unions are supposed to be training programs that pay the trainees in return employers are supposed to get workers they can rely on. I am biased, but I believe we need more trade unions in more trades. And if you thought only idiots joined trade unions, then you've never met a millwright.


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