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Risk in Context Podcast: Human capital shortages impacting the aviation industry and beyond

Experts across Marsh McLennan discuss workforce challenges, how they are impacting organizations within the aviation industry, and actions to address and minimize risk both in the short- and long-term.

The aviation industry has, for some time, been grappling with significant workforce shortages, including pilots and mechanics.

Aside from the potential impacts on both business and personal travel, this shortage of human capital can also disrupt global supply chains, and make disaster response and recovery efforts more challenging.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Andy James, who leads Marsh’s Aviation Operational Advisory team, speaks with Geoff Murray, a partner in Oliver Wyman’s Global Aviation team, and Geoff Smith, a partner and Gulf Coast Office leader at Mercer, about the current challenges, how they are impacting organizations within the industry, and actions to address and minimize risk both in the short- and long-term. We also hear from Greg Wyght, a senior vice president within Marsh’s Aviation Practice, about the shortage of pilots in the rotary sector, and how this can impact the oil and gas industry, as well as firefighting operations.

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Key takeaways

Perishable skills compound shortage challenges.

Both new airline and helicopter pilots, and qualified pilots returning following an absence, require significant retraining before they can fly. The current shortage of experienced pilots is making on-the-job training increasingly difficult.

Shifting employee priorities require benefits reconsideration.

Employees are putting more emphasis on their well-being, which has changed their work-life balance and priorities. This reality requires employers to rethink their overall employee value proposition, and make sure it aligns with today’s expectations in order to both attract and retain talent.

Data can help organizations tailor employment to changing preferences.

Preferential bidding systems can provide aviation companies with critical data on their employees’ shift preferences. Unlocking such a rich set of data allows employers to create attractive working environments, reflective of what the workforce desires.

About our speakers

Andy James

Andy James

Aviation Operational Advisory Lead, Marsh UK

  • United Kingdom

Andy James leads Marsh’s Aviation Operational Advisory team, working alongside the aviation broking and advisory teams. He has more than 30 years of operational aviation experience, flying as a helicopter pilot in the British Army for 11 years, followed by 21 years as a commercial pilot and instructor.

Greg Wyght

Greg Wyght

Senior Vice President, Aviation, Marsh Specialty

  • Canada

Greg Wyght is a senior vice president within Marsh’s Aviation Practice. Based in Canada, he has more than 35 years of aviation experience in operations, safety management, and training, including 15 years as a line pilot in forest fire suppression, HEMS, utility, and offshore and two decades of executive-level experience overseeing, among others, flight operations and safety management systems.

Geoff Murray

Geoff Murray

Partner, Global Aviation team, Oliver Wyman

Geoff Murray is a Partner on Oliver Wyman’s global aerospace sector team and has more than 18 years of consulting experience in the transportation industry. Based in Chicago, he works with OEMs, suppliers, and investors, advising on strategic issues, including aftermarket growth, organizational design, and mergers and acquisitions. He also holds an airline transport pilot certificate and began his aerospace career as an original member of the McDonnell Douglas T-45A Goshawk experimental flight test team.

Geoff Smith

Geoff Smith

Partner, Gulf Coast Market Leader, Mercer

Geoff Smith is Mercer’s Gulf Coast Office Leader and a Partner with the firm. He is responsible for developing insights and a deeper understanding of the human capital needs across industries. He leads several key global relationships in addition to being responsible for developing consulting talent for the market. He has more than 25 years of experience consulting with clients on the HR strategy, administration and delivery of HR and reward programs across multiple industries.

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