Leading airlines back commercial pilot apprenticeship scheme

Leading airlines back commercial pilot apprenticeship scheme

A new apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots is being developed with the backing of leading UK airlines.

Thomson Airways owner Tui UK & Ireland, Monarch Group, British Airways and Flybe are supporting the initiative alongside the British Airline Pilots Association, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and the Civil Aviation Authority.

The standard is being established by a specialist sub-group of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, which will be chaired by Tui and managed by People 1st, to increase opportunities in the aviation industry.

Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy at People 1st, which has supported the development of 18 apprenticeship standards across the visitor economy, including four in aviation, said: “The new standard provides an excellent opportunity for aviation employers to access a wider talent pool, and offers clear progression routes into higher level positions in this diverse sector.

“We are delighted to have supported the Aviation Industry Skills Board with the submission and look forward to working with employers to develop the standard.”

Thomson Airways flight operations director, Stuart Gruber, said: “We’re really proud to lead on an industry-first to develop the pilot apprenticeship standard.

“As a pilot myself, I’m really passionate about what an exciting opportunity this apprenticeship represents to those looking to join the aviation industry. It means that becoming a pilot will be a more accessible career option for many, and provide a platform to diversify the profession.

“We’re really excited about what this apprenticeship could mean to our current employees as well as anyone looking to join our company, as we’re dedicated to giving employees the chance to learn and grow in their roles.”

Pauline Prow, chief people officer at Monarch Group, and chair of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, added: “This apprenticeship is a great route to increase opportunities in the aviation industry, recognising that there are some potentially fantastic individuals who may not be able to consider commercial airline pilot as a career due to the current cost and accessibility.

“We very much look forward to progressing the development of the standard via the specialist interest sub-group under the chairmanship of Andy Smyth of Tui UK & Ireland”

Roger Gault, of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, said: “The new apprenticeship standards will be developed by employers to ensure that apprentices are working to industry based standards that give them the best chance to proposer and grow their career.

“This initiative will enhance social mobility by opening up a new route into a flying career for those who have the motivation, talent and aptitude but would struggle to find the required funding.”

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