24Hr emergency line +44 (0)20 8476 4099
Join Balpa

nextGen Trainee Programme

For many becoming a pilot is a dream harboured from a young age. 

It’s a calling, and the British Airline Pilots’ Association’s aim is to ensure it remains a great profession and one that anyone can aspire to. But becoming a pilot takes real determination and there are some huge challenges that aspiring pilots need to be aware of.

By logging on to our Becoming a Pilot pages you can have a look though our realistic guide to flight training and how to choose the right path for you.

BALPA’s nextGen programme helps protect the profession by reaching down to these new entrants and giving them a voice. We offer free nextGen Associate Membership to trainee pilots to welcome them in to the pilot family and provide mentoring and support from experienced pilots.

BALPA is striving for equal opportunity to ensure future pilots are drawn from all parts of society.

BALPA’s Position

We believe more needs to be done to get the Government and industry to foot some of the extremely large bill for pilot training. We are lobbying Government to look at ways it can support new pilots, including considering how the apprenticeship levy could help.

At the same time, BALPA representatives are negotiating brakes on the erosion of new starters’ terms and conditions. BALPA is encouraging airlines to agree permanent contracts and move away from employing pilots through temporary work agencies or on zero hour contracts.

For the UK aviation industry to continue to thrive and remain a valuable input in to the UK economy, it needs a healthy supply of highly trained pilots.

BALPA is calling on airlines, regulators and the Government to ensure fresh talent is supported and that terms and conditions for new starters are not pushed in a downwards race to the bottom.

Read BALPA’s 2023-2024 statement on pilot recruitment

Basic Pilot Training and a type rating can cost up to £130,000 with no guarantee of a job at the end.

More Campaigns.

Reduced Crew Operations: #SafetyStartsWith2

Safety Starts With 2 BALPA pilots believe the safety of every airline flight always starts with at least two well trained, qualified and rested pilots on the flight deck. Removing pilots from the flight deck is a gamble with safety. That is why BALPA is joining pilots from around the globe to engage in a […]

Read more

Fighting the Strikes Bill

Government is trying to curb the right to strike for transport workers. Under new proposals, the Secretary of State for Transport would gain sweeping powers to set minimum service levels during strikes, removing or curtailing their effect.

This is unacceptable to BALPA and the entire trade union movement.

Read more

Supporting Pilot Licensing

The new and unfair post-Brexit licencing system means UK pilot licences have been seriously degraded in value and utility. The new state of play has actively prevented UK pilots, including those made redundant due to Covid-19, from securing UK jobs.

BALPA continues to campaign for a reciprocal Flight Crew and Engineer Licence agreement between the UK and EU, which would benefit all UK airlines. This would address the imbalance following Brexit and the Government must address it urgently.

Read more

Environment and Sustainability

BALPA wants to see a thriving future for the aviation sector in the UK, one that provides jobs for our members and mobility for our population. Yet we are in the midst of a climate crisis and have a moral and legal obligation to ensure our future is a sustainable one.

Read more

Fighting Pilot Fatigue

Fatigue has for many years been a worrying issue for pilots and it continues to be a huge concern across the industry today. Pilots have told BALPA they believe fatigue is now the biggest single threat to flight safety.

Read more

Maternity Pay for Female Pilots

For women, the viability and attractiveness of a career as a pilot is significantly affected by the ability to balance working as a pilot with maternity and childcare commitments. At its most fundamental level lies the issue of maternity pay. The financial support available to a woman following the birth of her child has a […]

Read more

Pilot Pensions

Pilots feel the current pension system – including the existing tax relief framework – works. They want stability and fear any changes could undermine the system and put people off saving for their future.

Read more