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View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
It's something that we identified very early on. This is not a problem just for us in the military; it's a problem in the industry as well. I have many discussions with the Minister of Transport on this.
We adjusted our recruiting targets to start recruiting pilots very early on, even while the defence policy analysis was going on. For example, one of the reasons we need more pilots is that we're buying more aircraft. Originally the plan in the previous government was to buy 65, but we needed 88 based on our analysis. We have new search and rescue aircraft that are coming, so we have put the right investments in to start recruiting more pilots.
We're putting emphasis on retention as well. We're also looking at how we can use the air reserves a lot more. This is something that I believe has been underutilized, so the air force has been looking at new things.
With the mechanics, it's the same thing. We knew that we were going to be needing four more mechanics, and the recruitment is happening for that.
The final piece is that we do have to start looking at incentives for some of these critical trades. There's some work going on to look at the trades that are under stress and what we can do to support them so that we can either recruit or retain them better.
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