The first group of apprentices in a two-year training program launched by Piper Aircraft has begun attending classes and receiving hands-on training in fabrication and aircraft assembly skills.
The nine apprentices, who are on a track to qualify as journeymen in aircraft assembly, are taking their courses as paid Piper Aircraft employees with full employee benefits, Piper said in a news release.
“The Piper apprentices are part of a high-tech version of the ancient tradition of apprentices learning a trade requiring specialized skills by working with an experienced professional. This program provides the necessary training, mentoring and support enabling apprentices to successfully pursue a long-term career with growth opportunity as a Piper employee,” said Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott. “As we look to the future and consider our current aircraft sales and order backlog, the apprentice program will help ensure that Piper has a strong and agile workforce for the years to come.”
AOPA reported in an August 2019 Flight Training magazine article on trends in delivering the hands-on education needed to prepare a skilled workforce in the aviation trades, highlighting the program of Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, where students at the main Pittsburgh campus earn an associate degree in 21 months. Non-degree-seeking students can earn a certificate in 16 months at PIA’s campuses in Youngstown, Ohio; Hagerstown, Maryland, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.