Nigerian carrier Arik Air on Monday urged young Nigerians to embrace careers in the aviation sector in order to contribute their quota to national development.
Wole Odeyemi, A Cabin Crew Training Instructor with Arik Air gave the advice while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria at the sidelines of the Career Day ceremony of St. Francis Catholic Secondary School, Idimu, Lagos.
Odeyemi said Arik Air, through its Arik Cabin Crew Initiative, had developed various programmes aimed at increasing the airline’s visibility in the society.
He explained that the students could become pilots, aircraft engineers and cabin crew members by remaining focused on their academics.
Odeyemi said the programme, apart from focusing their interest in aviation, was also aimed at sensitising them on the importance of the airline’s crew to the safety of passengers.
According to him, there is need for the renewal of the aging workforce, in general and that of the aviation industry, in particular.
He said: “We want them to have interest in the industry. As I speak to you now, we have a shortage in the industry.
“We have many aged people who are still working, not because they don’t want to go and rest at home but there are no competent young persons to replace them.”
Odeyemi urged the Federal Government to invest in the aviation sector, especially in the area of manpower training and development, as well as providing scholarships to young Nigerians who could not afford the training fees of aviation colleges.
On his part, the Administrator, St. Francis Catholic Secondary School, Rev. Fr. Leo Muoneme, said the school would continue to encourage students to follow their passion.
He said: “We want our students to be able to stand anywhere in the world and say that they received a solid secondary school education.
“They can decide to choose any profession but we believe that they should have passion for it and utilise their God-given talents.”
The cleric expressed optimism that the Nigerian aviation industry was being strengthened by Arik Air and other airlines, adding that it would be great if some of the students become part of the sector in future.