Africa needs to improve its aviation infrastructure

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AirportThe state of commercial aviation infrastructure in Africa varies greatly from region to region and from country to country. Southern Africa is on the fore front of the other African countries when it comes to their airports, regulations and air traffic management. There is also a good local aviation industry. North Africa is well established. East Africa is emerging strongly. The other regions (although not all the countries in them) currently lag behind. However, this doesn’t mean that there’s no room for improvement.

To have effective commercial aviation sectors, these African countries must have the proper infrastructure. Addressing these challenges could significantly unlock the industry’s potential for future growth.

This is one of the challenges facing the development of commercial aviation on the continent. “Infrastructure in commercial aviation is a three-legged stool -airlines, airports and air traffic management - with a good regulatory system on top,” explains Boeing International VP for Africa Miguel Santos. “All need to be good in order to have a good commercial aviation environment,” he added.

Challenges to the African aviation industry
The rapid expansion in Africa’s aviation industry is hampered by a number of factors. Poor record of safety and security, investment in education, lack of adequate resources and infrastructure, distance and limited connectivity, lack of regulation and government actions are among the main constraints the industry is facing. These constraints add to competition and high operating costs resulting from surging oil prices.

Safety and security challenges
Safety is the most pressing challenge facing the aviation industry in Africa. A few years back, the average number of air traffic accidents was nine times higher than the global average. The frequency of accidents stems largely from inconsistency in the implementation and enforcement of internationally accepted safety standards and practices. Increasing the level of safety should be a key priority for the development of the African aviation industry. The African authorities have endorsed an African Union backed plan aimed at addressing deficiencies related to aviation safety and security and strengthening the regulatory framework. Accordingly, the International Air Transport Association jointly with the International Civil Aviation Organization and other organizations have committed to supporting the Africa Strategic Improvement Action Plan of the African Union. The plan encourages African governments to foster regulatory oversight through the adoption of globally accepted safety and security standards.

Inadequate infrastructure
The air transport industry faces various challenges including poor airport infrastructures, lack of physical and human resources, limited connectivity, and lack of transit facilities. Although substantial progress has been made during the past decade, Africa still lags behind other regions in terms of maintaining standards such as law enforcement, emergency services and education. And physical facilities and installations needed to operate, manage and monitor a system with the intention that the structures are permanent. For example, when power lines or communication towers are built, the goal is for them to stay in place indefinitely.

Lack of regulation and government actions
Despite the growing awareness of the role that the aviation industry could play in the development of the continent, the industry is still not the top priority of African governments. More, despite increased understanding of the African aviation industry and the growing presence of foreign companies, some African governments are still unwilling to open their skies fearing foreign competition could undercut national airlines, some of which are short of commercial viability besides being just symbols of sovereignty. These challenges require governments to enhance regulation of management, consumer protection and safety of airlines. Lack of aviation experts and skills, high airport taxes and fees, the weak connectivity and restrictions on transit visas and facilities add to the menu of impediments affecting Africa’s aviation industry.

Opportunities for the African aviation industry
Air travel is essential to the prosperity of Africa as it opens up opportunities that did not exist before. Fostering the African aviation industry may be one of the driving forces of regional integration on the continent. Better connected African countries and regions through a viable air transport industry could be the vehicle that can boost intra-African business, trade, tourism as well as cultural exchange. Developing the aviation industry may also represent an opportunity to ease constant transport problems facing African countries.

Rwanda’s national airline, RwandAir, is expanding rapidly into Africa. “Rwanda is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, with double digits over the past few years. We see ourselves as a key player. We’re hoping to grow particularly through sharpening our connections between East and West Africa” said its CEO, John Mirenge.

Here back at home in South Africa, OR Tambo International Airport was named the best airport in Africa at the recent Skytrax World Airport Awards, held in Barcelona, Spain.

In general, the African commercial aviation sector needs investment in education, infrastructure development, safety and security and regulatory frameworks. Even so, the opportunities for the sector remain considerable, with a growing market from both demographic and economic side.

Looking for a new Freight job? Communicate Personnel is a Freight recruitment company with consultants that specialize in Sales, Road Freight, Courier, Warehousing, Logistics, Production and more. Check out our vacancy page and apply today.

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Credit: by Salvatore Vuono

Discovering your Personal Brand

Sandra Olivier - Monday, October 20, 2014

time to discoverLet’s face it we might love the internet, social media and the era of selfie or we might hate it. One thing is for sure that the world is changing and at the heart of the change is technology. You can pretend it’s not happening or you can embrace the change and use it to your advantage especially in building the ultimate career.

In my previous post I looked at the importance of having a personal brand for you career. Because of the internet today, you have a personal brand whether you like it or not. So what does your brand say about you? What do you want it to say? Think about how you show up, how others perceive you, what you know, and what your online profile says about you. The most important job that you have today is to be the President of your own brand.

Here are some easy steps to help you start building your personal brand to further your career:

Find the real you
You need to develop your personal brand in light of who you actually are. Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your peers. When you strip away the mask, who are you really, and how can you show up in a way that allows your true authentic self to show through?

Others perception about you
Think about other people and the impressions you are making on colleagues and business associates. Take the time to speak with many different people to understand how they perceive your strengths and then use this information as you create your personal brand. This will help you to get to know yourself through the eyes of others, understand your differentiation, and discern what makes you compelling.

Be known for something
Every good brand involves the notion of expertise. Volkswagen are known as the People’s cars. Apple is the most innovative. Durban is the ‘Surf City’. What do you do better than anyone else? What’s your superpower? To find out, think about what’s innate:  what are you naturally good at? Find what your role is, what you do best or that no one else is doing, and find ways to be innovative in your area of expertise.

Live it
This is probably the hardest part, but will pay off the most in the long term. Act in a manner that consistently and constantly promotes the brand you’ve chosen for yourself. Every time you are in a meeting, at a conference, networking reception or other event, you should be mindful of what others are experiencing about you and what you want others to experience about you. Each of these engagements is similar to a job interview – except in these cases you are being evaluated by your peers. Those who know how to live and manage their personal brand will earn the respect and brand recognition in any situation.

Personal branding is no longer an option; it’s a powerful leadership enabler. In order to reach success you need to know exactly what you stand for in the world, and how to stand apart from others, and communicate that competitive difference with confidence and clarity.

If you are looking to move ahead in your career and need help with getting your personal brand out there to prospective new employers, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will help you connect with new career opportunities, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles

Mechanical Engineers in the Workplace

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Red Cog Leading StockRegardless of the skills shortages we are currently facing in South Africa, engineering is a booming industry in our country. Practically every company that designs and manufactures a product employs a mechanical engineer. But mechanical engineers can also be found in research labs, government, and in other line of works such as medicine, law or teaching.

Mechanical Engineers work in many different settings, most often as a matter of choice and career planning. They differ in the type of workplace, the problems to be solved, and work schedule. Some mechanical engineers work in design centers and headquarters facilities of high-tech companies; some prefer working in the field, and some travel overseas to serve clients and to develop new markets for products and services. There's a good chance that you won't spend all your waking hours sitting at a workstation.

Mechanical Engineers don’t really have a typical day in the workplace. The issues and challenges are numerous and evolve throughout the project. It is difficult to characterize a typical day under these circumstances. It takes more than technical knowledge to be a good mechanical engineer; you need attributes like thinking out of the box, dealing with difficult situations and the list goes on, to compliment your practical ability.

Problem solving mentality
Mechanical engineers thrive on solving difficult problems. These are not only technical problems, mechanical engineers deal with management requirements, unique customer needs, budget and legal constraints, environmental and social issues, as well as changes in technology. It is the mechanical engineers training in mathematics, the sciences, engineering fundamentals, and computer applications that provide them the ability to anticipate and respond to change. For the working engineer, the key is staying up to date with emerging technologies.

Most mechanical engineering jobs require design experience. When a need comes about for a new or better product, companies call upon mechanical engineers to do the job. Engineers have to push beyond the limits of their previous work knowledge and use modern technology to meet project requirements successfully.

Environmental issues
Mechanical engineers can also create the controlled indoor environment that people need in order to work in comfort. Factors such as humidity, temperature and cleanliness of the air in the workplace are monitored, adjusted and controlled by these engineers.

Mechanical engineers are also involved in the social responsibility of engineers and engineering organizations, which includes effective development issues such as:

  • water supply and sanitation,
  • cleaner production and recycling,
  • energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy and clean coal technology,
  • emergencies and disaster preparedness and response including urban security,
  • post disaster and conflict restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction and
  • engaging engineers in decision-making, policy-making and planning.

Engineering continues to grow in terms of the gender, ethnicity, and national origins of students and graduates entering the engineering workforce.  The workplace constantly changing and one need to have the skill to adapt to different work environments and be able to work with different people from different backgrounds, ages and gender.

Professionalism is supposed to be a given attribute, but fraud and corruption is affecting the ethos of the engineering industry and ultimately on our country. Being trustworthy and not taking bribes are a rare skill to have nowadays. One indication of a true profession is the existence of a code of ethics and a clear sense of professional responsibility and loyalty.
For that reason the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering exists to serve the interests and needs of its members, to advance the science and practise of mechanical engineering, and to promote high standards in the profession.

Are you currently in the mechanical engineering field and looking for engineering jobs?

Do you enjoy solving complex problems as well as spending the day dreaming up solutions? Then let us help you showcase your skills and talent!

We are a specialist recruitment company in the engineering field with available job opportunities in mechanical engineering, design engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering and so much more. Visit our vacancy page and apply now!

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Credit: by nokhoog_buchachon

Personal Branding, how important is that for your career?

Sandra Olivier - Monday, October 13, 2014

branding written chalckboard In the past few years, personal branding has become more and more important. The difference between today and ten years ago, is the rise of social technologies, the instant access to the internet and the blurring of boundaries between work and personal lives. Personal branding has stepped up to be a key consideration within your career and it is essential to invest time and effort in how you choose to present yourself. It could make the difference between you being very successful or not.

You might not think that you have a personal brand but everyone has one. It’s just that most people don’t really know what their personal brand is saying about them, and few invest any time in building it, enhancing it or leveraging it to support their careers.

How do I identify my personal brand?
There are several steps you can take to identify your personal brand. It all starts with self-assessment, what do you want your reputation to be? It’s about bringing together who you are, what you do and how you do it. It’s about making your mark by being yourself—your best self. Think of your personal brand as your unique promise of value. It's what you're known for and how people experience you.

I am not a celebrity, why do I need a brand?
Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Taylor Swift, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Social media tools have levelled the playing ground and have enabled us to reach incredible heights, at the cost of our time. Employers will Google you before they even invite you to an interview and the reality is your current employer is probably keeping an eye on what you’re doing, too. When you interact with people, both online and offline, they’ll build up an image of who you are over time. You want to be in control of all of those impressions.

What Makes You Unique, Makes You Successful
Personal Branding is about identifying and then communicating what makes you unique and relevant for your employers, so that you can reach your career goals. If you understand your strengths, skills, passions, and values, you can use this information to separate yourself from your competitors and really stand out.

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.

In the next post, I will discuss tips on how to discover and identify your personal brand. So start thinking differently about yourself. You are not defined by you job title or confined for that matter by your job description. If you want to reach your career goals you need to start think about your brand, the Me.Inc brand.

If you need assistance in getting your brand out there to secure you next career opportunity we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding individuals Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

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Cybersecurity skills in high demand

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, October 08, 2014

spyware shows hacking cyber Cybersecurity is the most in-demand sector amongst information technology jobs, according to CIO magazine, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. The demand for people with cybersecurity skills has grown 3.5 times faster than the demand for professionals in other IT-related jobs over the last couple of years.

According to the experts, it’s a situation where you need extreme analytical skills. It’s more than just writing code against a set of specification. On the cyber side, coding is only one part of your function, you have to be very analytical and think about a person who wants to break through the system for whatever reason, malicious or other. You are working with a completely different set of rules and it’s very complex. This is one of the main reasons why you can’t just be a junior you need a high level of experience and why these skills are so in demand.

So with that said what are the most in-demand skills today and in the coming months?

Mobile Security
There’s an evolution going on in the executive suite, emerging technologies like mobile, cloud and embedded devices are making the world more technology driven, and at the same time, producing huge amounts of data.

In a survey conducted by Enterprise Security Group they found that organizations’ top challenge is enforcing security policy for mobile devices. Mobile computing and communications have introduced new vulnerabilities and threats, and finding people with the know-how to address these will become increasingly important.

Application Security
This category represents one of the largest year-over-year growth increases in job postings in the USA, with a 31 percent hike since 2011. The main reason driving demand for this job category is the complexity of applications and explosive growth in the mobile device market.

Security Analyst
Organizations require information security analysts to help steer them through risk assessment, vulnerability assessment, and defence planning. This requires individuals with the skills to bridge across a variety of areas of expertise to understand what the adversary is doing inside your network. More and more, the industry is moving toward creating intelligence and “hunt” capabilities to find sophisticated adversaries within networks, pointing to a significant demand for staff with the security analyst skill set.

Security Architects
Security Architect is responsible for analyzing information security systems and applications, and recommending and developing security measures to protect information against unauthorized data modification or loss.

A well-defined architecture helps dictate how the various single-function security technologies will work together -- and makes it easier to find the weak spots in enterprise defences. As cyber-attacks grow in frequency and sophistication, many organizations find themselves falling behind in their ability to detect these attacks. Security architects are needed to develop innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating havoc on computer networks.

The importance of having the right security specialist within your team is clear. If you are looking for skilled individuals to help you against cyber-attacks or are in need of skilled staff in any other area within IT, we can assist.  Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment company that can help you find those scarce skills. Communicate Personnel represents a range of tech-savvy, experienced candidates across all levels of the IT sector. These include business intelligence, developers, analysts, system engineers, project managers and more. Contact us today!

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Credit: by Stuart Miles



Previous posts

  1. Africa needs to improve its aviation infrastructure Mallisa Watson 9 hours 58 mins ago
  2. Discovering your Personal Brand Sandra Olivier 20-Oct-2014
  3. Mechanical Engineers in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 15-Oct-2014
  4. Personal Branding, how important is that for your career? Sandra Olivier 13-Oct-2014
  5. Cybersecurity skills in high demand Sandra Olivier 08-Oct-2014
  6. It’s Time For a Brand New You Mallisa Watson 06-Oct-2014
  7. It’s Crunch Time for South Africa’s Economy Mallisa Watson 01-Oct-2014
  8. Motivating employees Sandra Olivier 25-Sep-2014
  9. Management: Decision Making Mallisa Watson 22-Sep-2014
  10. Trans-Kalahari Corridor offers great opportunities for Freight industry Sandra Olivier 17-Sep-2014
  11. Revamping your resume can help your career search Mallisa Watson 15-Sep-2014
  12. Hydropower to be generated from Ingula Sandra Olivier 10-Sep-2014
  13. Potential: Yours, Mine and Ours Mallisa Watson 08-Sep-2014
  14. The IT Talent Problem, more than just Technical Skills Mallisa Watson 03-Sep-2014
  15. Starting anew in your career Sandra Olivier 01-Sep-2014
  16. Internal Audit key to Managing Risk Sandra Olivier 27-Aug-2014
  17. Good Work Relationships Are Key To Your Success Mallisa Watson 25-Aug-2014
  18. Strategies To Cut Procurement Cost Mallisa Watson 20-Aug-2014
  19. Steering your career on the path of success Sandra Olivier 18-Aug-2014
  20. 3D Design changing Construction Industry Sandra Olivier 13-Aug-2014
  21. Frequent job change - good or bad for your career? Mallisa Watson 11-Aug-2014
  22. Women Taking The Lead Mallisa Watson 06-Aug-2014
  23. DevOps: Collaboration and Integration Mallisa Watson 04-Aug-2014
  24. What does it mean to be a Financial Analyst? Mallisa Watson 30-Jul-2014
  25. Using social media in your job hunt Sandra Olivier 28-Jul-2014
  26. Aerotropolis the future for Dube TradePort? Sandra Olivier 23-Jul-2014
  27. Who’s Keeping Time? Mallisa Watson 21-Jul-2014
  28. Green Building: Changing the Way the World is Built Mallisa Watson 16-Jul-2014
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