The Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace, CCAA, is a not-for-profit national partnership organization working with industry, labour, educators and government. CCAA is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to the labour market and the workforce in the aviation and aerospace industry.
Two points I'd like to talk to you about this afternoon are the critical labour shortage, as referred to by John McKenna just a minute ago, and the need to improve the system for access to foreign workers.
On the critical skills shortage, some of you will be familiar with the 2018 CCAA labour market information study. The study documented the critical skills gap in the sector. It is the most widely cited report on the subject. At that time, the study projected 55,000 new workers would be needed by 2025. CCAA has recently completed a new study, which will be published shortly. The new projection is for 58,000 workers by 2028. Of that, air transport requires approximately 31,800, which is 58% of the current workforce. Support activities for air transport require 13,200, which is 50% of the current workforce. Aerospace manufacturing requires 13,100, which is 25% of the current workforce. Of the 31,000 needed, 7,574 are pilots and 5,203 are aircraft mechanics.
Air transport will see high replacement demand and insufficient supply of new entrants. Of replacement demand, retirees make up 38% of the total hiring requirements. The balance is growth. There are projected to be 5,000 and change new entrants to the industry, which will make up less than 20% of the 31,000 needed, so 26,800 workers will need to be found from other industries or other jurisdictions. ICAO, Boeing and IATA all document that the shortages are worldwide, so recruiting from other jurisdictions will continue to be challenging, as it will be from other sectors.
The other point I want to talk to you about is streamlining the process for hiring foreign aviation maintenance engineers, AMEs. All Canadian companies prefer to hire within Canada for obvious reasons; however, as mentioned, Canada cannot produce enough workers, so companies are often forced to hire foreign workers. The process is time-consuming and costly. Adding two NOC codes to the list of critical labour shortages would be an important step towards making the process less costly and faster for a critical part of the industry. Those NOC codes are 7315 for aircraft mechanics and inspectors and NOC code 7244 for avionics and electronic technicians. All companies need a mixture of experienced workers and apprentices. Hiring 20 experienced foreign workers allows a company to hire 20 additional apprentices.
The other important related point is on recognition of foreign trained AMEs by Transport Canada. According to a recent report by CAMAQ out of Quebec, Transport Canada refuses 99% of requests from AMEs licensed in other jurisdictions like EASA or FAA. While their experience is recognized, elements of their academic education are considered deficient, because foreign regulators have different requirements for academic training. You have a licensed AME who's worked for a major airline, say in Germany, for 20 years, authorized by Transport Canada to work on Canadian planes in that jurisdiction. However, when they come to Canada, they are not recognized by Transport Canada to be an AME here because 20 years ago when they studied in Frankfurt, they didn't have exactly the same curriculum as that required by Transport Canada for colleges in Canada. Moving to a competency-based system instead of this methodical bureaucratic approach would be important.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll be happy to answer questions after the others have spoken.