The United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship recently approved the avionics technician apprenticeship program created by the Aircraft Electronics Association.
According to the Department of Labor’s bulletin, “This competency-based occupational framework (CBOF) has met industry standards and approval; it covers job titles and occupational pathways, related functions and performance criteria, as well as academic, workplace and personal competencies for job success.”
“While use of CBOFs in developing standards utilizing the competency-based training approach is voluntary, no additional vetting of a Work Process Schedule utilizing the CBOF should be required where a program aligns to the occupational framework described in a CBOF, beyond the basic requirements set forth in 29 CFR Part 29,” the bulletin continues.
AEA’s team of member repair stations and manufacturer representatives worked with the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization, to develop the avionics technician apprenticeship program that now merits a national credential from the Department of Labor.
AEA’s development of the apprenticeship program follows the FAA’s formal recognition in January 2019 of the Aircraft Electronics Technician certification from ASTM’s National Center for Aerospace and Transportation Technologies as equivalent to formal training when showing eligibility for a repairman certificate, AEA officials said.
“The avionics technician apprenticeship program offers a new career pathway where individuals can simultaneously earn a competitive wage, gain knowledge with structured learning and on-the-job training, and achieve industry-recognized credentials,” said Mike Adamson, AEA president and chief executive officer. “It is no secret that the avionics industry must address the challenges posed by a tightened labor market and competition from other industries. Developing a nationally registered apprenticeship program was the next logical step to help cultivate the next generation of avionics professionals. Now that the apprenticeship program has been approved by the Department of Labor, AEA member repair stations have another tool to grow their own and successfully recruit, train and retain high-quality technicians. It is another critical step in our industry’s ongoing workforce development efforts.”