Published on February 17th, 2014 | by Mike Smart0
Aviation & Infrastructure in 2014 - High Quality Managers Needed
As the economy continues to recover, the increasing amount of demand and activity from both the aviation and infrastructure (A&I) sectors is now coming to the fore. Alium Partners A&I specialist Mike Smart, discusses what impact this upturn has for skilled industry professionals.
Infrastructure, you can’t avoid it. From rail and road to energy and utilities, we all use the country’s infrastructure at one point or another in our daily lives. But now that the economic indicators look brighter and confidence is returning, demand is on the increase significantly – but only for those with the experience and skills required.
Infrastructure Sector: Government Spending At Last
The real focus area of late has been in major government projects – and with the public attitude much more favourably disposed towards measured spending to support the recovery and create jobs, ministers have been given the green light. The challenge now, however, is for public sector departments and agencies to identify the right talent. Large, high profile programmes need skilled operators – but with a small candidate base in demand and a skills shortage overall, many are turning to interim management and more flexible solutions to fulfil their business needs.
Ideal Candidates: Experienced. Capable. Credible.
Conversations I have had with clients recently indicates not just the need for specific experience and skills, but also for candidates who have the ability to plan with a 360-degree approach and with the aim of effective delivery at the end. As a result, there are now longer term assignments on offer – but only for those who have the track record of success. In short, they have to be experienced, capable and credible, because, with the increase in budgets, quality is now an option in infrastructure.
Demand in the Aviation Sector: Up In The Air
Aviation, on the other hand, although closely related to infrastructure, is a completely different story. With the airports capacity debate raging on in the media, there is a healthy level of interest from both clients and candidates in the aerospace/aviation field. Indeed, a recent mailshot I sent out to our Aviation talent pool garnered a record response and number of enquiries, so the talent is definitely out there! But the indecision from government is crippling.
Plan For Success
Regardless of what happens with Heathrow/Thames Estuary/Gatwick, what the argument has shown is that our airport capacity is sorely lacking. From Inverness to Exeter, Stornoway to Southampton - if our regional airports are serious about passenger growth, they need serious business plans. The appetite for organisational progress in the economy means that change is now much more tangible, but how do airport boards take advantage of this environment and move from survival to growth?
Talent pool – Dive In
The answer lies in untapped market expertise. From the incredibly positive conversations I have been having with candidates while building the sector talent pool, and with the clients who are demanding fresh resource, it is clear there is now a unique opportunity in the marketplace for business-focussed, change management specialists who are able to make the difference in a sector that is in need of major transformation in order to take off.
Have you also seen an increase in demand of change managers and interim specialists in the A&I sectors over the last months? Do you agree that the Aviation sector will need a major transformation? Please share your thoughts in the comments field.