21 AUGUST 2017
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Training costs of up to £100,000 are putting off would-be pilots, leading to a two-tier system and contributing to the industry shortage of personnel, according to the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA).
As students opened their A-level results last week, the union said it was calling on the industry to ensure pilot selection was open to all and those from less advantaged backgrounds were not discouraged from applying for training.
The association said the cost of training meant A-level results were not enough after a change in which airlines had largely stopped their historical funding and the burden now fell increasingly on the trainees.
“Aspiring pilots have told BALPA this leads to a two-tier system, with those from poorer backgrounds put off by the debt burden while those with deeper pockets but less talent able to fulfil their dreams”, the association said.
It has now launched a “nextGen” project to give trainees a voice and lobby the government and airlines to do more to help to alleviate the situation.
Head of membership and career services Wendy Pursey said: “Many aspiring pilots who worked hard to get A-level qualifications will fall by the wayside. This financial burden has a real impact on pilots and wider repercussions for the industry.”
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