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Helping flight crew with their futures

by Nicole Calliste Membership and Careers Executive

Earlier this month we met with 400 pilots who were all looking to take the next step on their career path. Some were newly qualified and taking fledgling steps towards their first jobs. Others were experienced pilots who’d been made redundant and were looking for their next job and some were simply looking at how to progress their career.

But all were attending our Flight Crew Futures event looking for networking opportunities and guidance.  Events like this allow BALPA to engage with and support our members at a time when they need our intervention most. Changing your career or embarking on a new one can be very daunting, and this is where we come in, through sharing impartial advice, knowledge and the expertise of our team.

The day included a wide range of airlines and recruitment agencies, informative presentations and allowed pilots’ the opportunity to ask specific questions, directly with pilot recruiters.

We hope to continue delivering such sessions as these in the future, with the hope that we can go out and support our growing membership.

One of the people who attended the event was Matthew Martin. He is a newly qualified pilot and has given his thoughts about the event.

Matthew Martin’s experience of Flight Crew Futures:

Applying for any job is daunting and after spending several years training part time while working for my Commercial Pilots Licence and Instrument Rating at a cost of over 50k I realised that actually finding a job is the next massive hurdle to jump.

All my training thus far has focused on how to fly a plane. But now I need to know how to market myself as a pilot so I can stand out from the crowd and secure a job.

It is not often that you get a chance to meet people from the companies that are recruiting or to network with other pilots, so when I heard about Flight Crew Futures I jumped at the chance to be part of the event.
It was also a good chance to network, meet many other pilots and ask how they got their first job and a foot in the door.

It was well organised and there was a wide range of companies involved. I spoke to people from CargoLogicAir, Emirates, Flybe, Norwegian, Hong Kong Airlines, Turkish airlines.

The event catered for a wide range of pilots from the more experienced to low hour or newly qualified pilots like myself. There were quite a few pilots from Monarch there and this probably makes it a bit harder for newly qualified pilots as airlines have a choice of qualified Airbus pilots.

But there were quite a few pilot recruiting companies and interview preparation companies there as well and this was a chance to find out a bit more about the process of getting that all important first interview, passing the selection procedure then getting a job.

I took advantage of seminars on interview techniques and how to set yourself out from the rest of the pack.
I may not have come away with a job just yet but the event has given me a better understanding of the opportunities out there. I have lots of information and contacts and I am much better prepared to grasp any opportunities that come my way.

Upcoming event for aspiring pilots

Do you know someone who’s interested in becoming a pilot? If so, they could benefit from Pilot Careers Live, an event which takes place twice a year at the Sofitel Hotel in Heathrow. The next Pilot Careers Live is this weekend (Saturday 4th November) and is aimed at those considering a career as a pilot.

And there is a new feature at the event called Aerospace Careers Zone that provides an opportunity to explore several different careers paths in aviation, including air traffic control, airport operations, engineers, maintenance providers and flight operations.

This event is open to:

• Anyone interested in a career in aviation and aerospace, from aero engineering and flight deck positions to maintenance, airport operations, management, air traffic control or flight ops.

• Candidates with an ambition to be an airline or military pilot.

• Anyone interested in commercial helicopter flying operations.

• Those considering making an exciting career change.

• School/college career advisors, as this event offers an excellent opportunity to gather reference material and speak with the experts about options within the sector.

There will be a series of informative presentations by industry experts throughout the day, including:

• Airline Prep – Airline Interview and Assessment Preparation
• Are you fit to fly?
• easyJet

With the exhibitors list growing every day, click here to see the latest information and to register for your place.