x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Curriculum hurdle to UAE aerospace and aviation growth

Mubadala’s top industry executive says there's a need to get the younger generation excited about science and engineering.

Inspiring young people to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) is the main obstacle to growth in the aerospace and aviation sectors in the UAE, according to Mubadala’s top industry executive.

“Workforce and job creation [are] the biggest challenges. We need to energise the younger generation and get them excited about science and engineering. ,” Homaid Al Shemmari, the chief executive of Aerospace and Engineering Services at Mubadala, said at an industry roundtable in London to preview the upcoming Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi next month.

“Partnerships have to be built to overcome these challenges. Aerospace and aviation can unite nations and build relations. Skills development and training can help get past these obstacles and overcome the challenges.”

Abu Dhabi has emerged as an aviation manufacturing and maintenance hub and by 2030 Al Ain aerospace hub is expected to have created 10,000 new jobs and lead to a million inhabitants living in Al Ain, according to Mubadala.

Aerospace is facing tough competition from other sectors to attract Stem graduates and businesses must collaborate with educational and training institutions and help students understand the opportunities available to them within the industry.

“Aerospace sets the bar very high and leads to better quality across a range of industries. Rigour is needed to achieve the best results,” said Paul Stein, the chief scientific officer at Rolls-Royce.

More than one thousand executives from the aviation, aerospace, defence and space sectors are expected to gather on April 7th and 8th on Saadiyat Island for the second Global Aerospace Summit organised by Mubadala and Streamline Marketing.

“Over the past few years, Abu Dhabi has developed its manufacturing capabilities across the aviation and aerospace industries, through Mubadala’s aerospace manufacturing arm, Strata. We have also become proud suppliers of aircraft parts for global companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky,” said Mr Al Shemmari.

“To develop our capabilities and maintain a global competitive advantage, we have ensured that R&D plays a key part within our businesses. Our annual R&D spending is something that we need to invest more in as we collaborate with academic institutions and partnerships with OEMs,” he said.

The summit’s themes include workforce development and industrialisation.

“To maintain competitive and sustainable aerospace and engineering services sectors, we understand the need for a highly skilled Stem workforce. Our Emiratisation programme is not only focused on supporting the development of the next generation of national scientists, engineers and technicians but also on creating jobs across a range of professions,” he said.

The Global Aerospace Ambassadors programme, designed to support Stem education, will be launched at the summit.

It is hoped that the initiative will help to inspire those aged 5 to 25 to choose a career in aerospace, aviation, defence and space.

business@thenational.ae

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