EasyJet is reported to be cutting the cost of training for a small number of pilots as part of a drive to attract a more diverse range of people to fly its aircraft.

Flight schools and airlines are moving to sponsor more courses, or cut the cost of training, amidst a global shortage of trained pilots.

Newly qualified pilots who are chosen will have to pay €9,900  (£8,648) for their so-called type rating course, with easyJet making up the balance of the bill, which is typically around £30,000, Reuters reported.

A type rating determines which kind of aircraft pilots can fly – a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 at Europe’s low cost carriers Ryanair and easyJet respectively – and is sought by pilots after they gain their airline transport licence.

EasyJet said that the funding of up to 20 places for female or male pilots from different countries and backgrounds would help broaden the diversity of its pilots, building on an existing initiative to increase its number of female pilots.

“We’re pleased to announce that we’re part-funding a small number of type ratings for pilots yet to get their big break into commercial aviation,” the airline said.