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AMFA and GS5 Next Gen Aviation Education Formed a Strategic Alliance Q&A
May 26, 2023

On May 5, 2023, AMFA and GS5 Next Gen Aviation Education formed a strategic alliance to offer a new educational model for aspiring Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) in Canada. In our last Press Release posted in regards to AMFA activating its educational branch of the Association, AMFA announced that it had an independent strategic alliance with GS5 and has brought the educational trade union sector which would be GS5 to provide training to the Canadian AME and establish an apprentice program group.  After numerous leadership meetings, intense open dialog, and open forum diligence, AMFA is excited to start the new process as a certified trade union of advancing the AME status in Canada and providing a truly structured standardized training program to this skilled group.  As with all things new, there are questions about the intent of AMFA and how this will impact the existing AMEs in Canada.  To help everyone understand what this is all about, we have put together some of the most asked questions and concerns in regard to elevating the craft trade with Q&A for consideration.

Q - Is AMFA trying to replace traditional classroom endorsement training with computer-based training?

A - NO the training program is ideal for people who are just out of college or transitioning from the military to civilian and are looking to round out their skill set with an advanced certified training program.  The Canadian college curriculum for the aircraft maintenance engineer program is out of date and lacking in several areas that would help someone new to the industry.   A primary goal for AMFA is to support and advance our trade to be recognized by the Canadian Government as a truly “skilled” profession.  AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of Engineers/Technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled-trade professionals it represents. The training that we are looking at would move AMEs in Canada out of the ”semi-skilled” category into the skilled labour group with all of the advantages that are available to a skilled trades group like tax write-offs, tuition/education assistance for AME licensing, increased relevance, raising skilled compensation while raising the public recognition and importance of the AME.

Q – Is AMFA trying to replace the college programs for Aircraft Maintenance in Canada?

 A – NO, anything but, the training that we are looking at will be in addition to the education and training that almost all AMEs in Canada were or have been part of.  We are seeking to expand our relationship with other academia stakeholders to help be part of the solution and innovate collaboratively, not isolate ourselves in the industry. There are some areas of training that require hands-on practical, person-to-person interaction and we do not want to change or stop that fundamental or mandated requirement.  If, however, online training, virtual reality training, or augmented reality training brings current and advanced aircraft skills development that is not attainable by this group of new trainees, this quality must be in the present training model. We feel that we must bring this technology/education to the industry since many of the new next generations have been born and brought up on iPhones/iPads while virtual reality is at their fingertips enhancing these educational skill sets to the next level of learning/education. With this elevated standard and education, we can tap into new and diverse groups by being able to provide them with long-term career opportunities and customized training and skills development.

Q- What are the AME licenses that are divided into different ratings?

A – AME licenses are divided into ratings:

  • M1 (Non-turbojet aircraft approved to CAR 522, 523, 523-VLA, 527, and 549) and includes all airframe, engines, propellers, components, structures, and systems of those aircraft.
  • M2 (All aircraft not included in M1 (excluding balloons) and includes all airframes, engines, propellers, components, structures, and systems of those aircraft.
  • E: Aircraft electronic systems including communication, pulse, navigation, auto flight, flight path computation, instruments, and the electrical elements of other aircraft systems, and any structural work directly associated with the maintenance of those systems.
  • S: Aircraft structures including all airframe structures.

Depending on the license type, AME licenses mandated a requirement of a minimum of 550–1000 hours of classroom training, successful completion of testing, and 36 months–48 months of on-the-job experience.The Ellis Chart developed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in partnership with the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) indicates that AME positions require between 1,200–1,232 hours of technical training and between 5,906–7,200 hours of on-the-job training. Obtaining an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) licence (canada.ca)

Q – If I look at the GS5 website, it looks like they are trying to save money by reducing the quality and content of the training.  Why would AMFA support something like that?

 A – We do not support a reduction in training or reducing the quality and/or standards in any way.  If anything, the amount and quality of training will improve with the initiatives AMFA proposes.  If the quality and standards are not there, then we reevaluate, and quality assurance is a must moving forward. Once again, the training that AMFA is reviewing, assessing, and looking at has very little to do with existing AMEs, unless they are looking for advanced training and/or update and recurrent training.  It is our belief that improving the status and recognition of AMEs in Canada will both attract and retain more people to the industry while helping address the AME shortage that is impacting Canada and is expected to worsen over the next 10 years. In aviation and aerospace, specifically, the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace (CCAA) estimates that the sector will need an additional 58,000 workers “in key skilled occupations” by 2028. Canadian government invests $39M in aviation & aerospace skills training - Skies Mag

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