Student association calls for more support from aerospace industry
Industry could do more to encourage aerospace students, says the president elect of Euroavia, a well-established student association. More contact and support today should pay dividends for Europe tomorrow.
Euroavia's mission is to promote greater contact between industry and graduates at the national and international levels throughout Europe. Membership gives students real-world experience and networking possibilities beyond the walls of academia. “Our non-profit organisation places emphasis on European co-operation,” notes Ristori.
This 45-year-old association offers students from 30 cities in 19 European countries opportunities to meet and forge valuable ties with their peers but, most importantly, with potential future employers. But therein lies a problem, notes Ristori, if industry and businesses are not prepared to support students earlier in their careers.
“Personally, I think this is very strange because students are the future of industries,” she comments. Of course, her association is doing its best with meagre funds to raise the profile of students in the European and international aerospace sector. Among other activities, it arranges gatherings, such as the annual ‘Formation Workshop' to prepare graduates for a competitive labour market, as well as projects aimed specifically at helping young engineers (EYE).
The one-week workshop includes lectures on economics, project management, how to improve communication skills, and what it is like to work in an international team. “I think knowing all this before starting their careers is very important for students,” Ristori asserts.
The Union is keen to further strengthen its aerospace industry through research and innovation under its Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) for research. When ACARE was set up in mid-January 2001, it was given the task of developing and implementing a strategic approach to European aeronautics research.Euroavia, EU sources