In 2015, Jared Camaddo, a student in business apprenticeship at Geneva’s André-Chavanne College and Business School who’s also taking pilot lessons, searched online for training or internship programs in aviation.
He found EBACE, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, held every year down the street from his school, and was amazed by the breadth of career possibilities in business aviation.
This year, when the industry hosted the first Careers in Business Aviation Day at EBACE2017, Camaddo returned and brought friends and classmates with him. “Business and aviation are the two things I love most, so this would be ideal for me,” said Camaddo. “I intend to stay in this industry.”
More than 250 high school, vocational and university students from 120 schools across Europe attended this year’s event – all for free – hoping to learn more about jobs in a field they knew little about.
“This is a very people-intensive industry,” Simon Witts, the founder and CEO of Aviation Skills Partnership, told the assembled students. “That’s lucky for you. The world is facing a critical shortage of aviation personnel.”
Camaddo and his classmates found that surprising. “I know a lot of people my age who would be interested in these careers, they just don’t know about them,” he said. “Before I came to EBACE, I didn’t know this was an industry that needs people.”
Witts told the students that, just on the operations side of business aviation, career pathways are available for pilots, air traffic controllers, ground technicians, dispatchers, cabin crew, engineers and maintenance technicians.
Cammado’s hand shot up. “Are there opportunities in those fields here in Geneva?”
“Yes, there are,” Witts said. “And if you’re trained in Switzerland, you can work anywhere in the world.”
“I’m interested in marketing,” said Cammado’s friend Noah Di Guardo. “Are there opportunities in aviation marketing?”
Arthur Thomas, manager of data and economic affairs for the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), assured him there were. “If you look around this show, marketing is everywhere here,” he said. “People are here to do business. Nearly everyone you will meet here is a marketing professional, salesperson or company director.”
After hearing from Witts and Sarah Holian, head of operations and customer service for Stratajet, the university students went to a University Roundtable Session to get advice from business aviation professionals on how to enter the field.
Secondary students toured the exhibit floor and talked directly to the people in the industry they were hoping to meet.