BALPA is the professional association and registered trade union established to represent the interests of all UK pilots
Wendy Pursey
Head of Membership and Career Services
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, BALPA is challenging the aviation industry to find ways to roll out pilot apprenticeships in a bid to remove the financial barrier to pilot training which puts off those from less affluent backgrounds. In this blog Wendy Pursey examines the challenge: 

What is a trainee pilot? 

It may seem a strange question, but it is in some ways, difficult to answer. You may assume a trainee pilot is much like any other student. The reality is very different. Unlike those who choose university as their higher education path, those who train to be a pilot are not classed as ‘students’ in the same way, for example trainee pilots are not entitled to student loans.

At the same time trainee pilots are also not employed pilots. Gone are the days when airlines would recruit potential pilots and subsidise their training.  These days those aspiring for a career in the skies have to pay their own away when it comes to flight training, and that can cost up to £130,000. In fact many of those undertaking modular training have other jobs to fund their courses. 

Essentially these days trainee pilots are consumers. Training schools compete to attract ‘customers’ who pay to be trained. Many have excellent marketing, sparkling brochures that tell of amazing facilities, modern aircraft and high success in graduates finding a job. It is important for those who are considering embarking on pilot training to understand that trainings schools are commercial outfits that make a profit from your business. You must understand what you are signing up to before you commit.  

What about apprenticeships? 

BALPA has been looking at apprenticeships as a potential way to help open up piloting to a wider range of people. We have already helped establish the first ever apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots in the UK. But, a year on, we are still yet to see airlines take up this opportunity. Work is ongoing with BALPA, the Aviation Industry Skills Board, Government and airlines, to find solutions that will make this option more practicable. 

For now, trainee pilots still fall between the cracks when it comes to help financing their training. But BALPA is continuing to fight their corner and urging the industry as whole to recognise the opportunity apprenticeships offer. 
 

Posted on 06 February 2020

No tags
Comments 0
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
 Security code

Tags

1950s 1960s 5k AAIB accident ADC Advice age aircraft AircraftWorldCup airline airport alcohol AME association ATC automation autopilot aviation B747 baby on board balalnce' balance BALPA benefits Bermuda Triangle BOAC Boeing bombing Brexit CAA caffine camera Career careers celebrity change charity children civil clocks cockpit coffee Communications competition computer modelling ComRes Concorde Conference cook course Crash CVR daughter day' debt debts defamation delays Discounts disruption driver drone Drones Drugs easa emergency employment environment Europe event events expansion Expert Facebook family father Fatigue feedback finance Flight Crew Futures flight deck Flight Safety flights flying fog FTL fuel funding future Germanwings golden Government green Health Heathrow Helicopter HEMS History hotel hotels ice IFALPA Industrial interview Investigation investment jet job jobs lag landing laser Lasers law laws legal life Lifestyle Lockerbie Market Maternity maternity pay maths Medical Melanoma Members membership mental mental health military Monarch 'mother's mum mystery NEC negotiation network new year nextGen noise north North Sea offers opportunity parent parenting passengers Pay peer support Pensions photo photography pilot pilotless Pilots plane police professional recognition recruitment Redundancy Reps re-training RPAS Ryanair Safety safety. salary santa scheduling sea Security short-haul Single sleep snow Social Media space space travel speedbird 38 sterotype storm Stress Sullenberger sunburn support survey tax Technical testing Thomas time tired trafficking training travel travel chaos tribunal tuc ufo union Virgin Galactic visit water Weather Webinar wings alliance winter work 'work-life work-life balance zone