25 FEBRUARY 2019
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The first apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots in the UK was announced last week in a move supporters said would pave the way for a more accessible career option for interested would-be fliers.
The announcement came from the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), which said it was proud to have helped to establish the initiative, along with a group of leading aviation employers and organisations.
Put together by the Aviation Industry Skills Board specialist sub-group, the apprenticeship standard for first pilot officer has the backing of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and is supported by aviation employers including British Airways, Flybe, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic.
BALPA has previously raised concerns over the high cost of pilot training, which can run to £100,000 or more. The union says the expense may be putting off talented potential pilots from less affluent backgrounds (BTN 21 May 2018).
Head of membership and career services Wendy Pursey, said: “It is important to open the profession to those capable and passionate about flying, not just those with the deepest pockets.
“Piloting should be an equal opportunities career; we hope the new programme will make that a reality for more people.”
(See also Business travel learning focus in this issue).
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