Pilots urge airlines to take up an apprenticeship scheme to help end the scandal of training costs
As part of National Apprenticeship Week (3-7th Feb) BALPA is challenging the Government and airlines to fully implement an apprenticeship scheme for pilots that would help remove financial barriers and open up the career to a more diverse population. Co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, the ‘Look Beyond’-themed week will celebrate the diversity and value that apprenticeships bring to employers, apprentices and communities across England today.
BALPA has already helped establish the first ever apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots in the UK. But a year on from its creation, we are still yet to see any airlines take up this opportunity. BALPA is continuing to work with the Aviation Industry Skills Board to find solutions that make this option more practicable and is challenging the Government and airlines to look seriously at apprenticeships as a way of opening up the profession to all.
At present, aspiring pilots have to fund their own training which can cost up to £130,000… a huge challenge for those from less affluent backgrounds.
BALPA Head of Membership and Career Services, Wendy Pursey said:
“There has been a lot of talk from airlines about diversity, but if airlines really want recruit people from all walks of life, then they need to remove the financial barrier to pilot training that makes it very difficult for those from less affluent backgrounds to apply.
“At the moment those aspiring to a career in the skies must have deep pockets if they are to fund their training.
“We believe that apprenticeships could help open up the career to those who currently can’t afford to access training.
“BALPA has worked hard to produce the first ever apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots in the UK.
“The challenge is now on for airlines, the wider industry and the Government to recognise the opportunity that apprenticeships bring and help to iron out the obstacles that are preventing the scheme being taken up.”