8 NOVEMBER 2021
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To become a professional pilot is an aspiration for many. It has always been a difficult goal, some failing at the first hurdle due to medical reasons, others not obtaining the educational qualifications, and others unable to put together the necessary financial package.
Although the industry is seeing the first green shoots of recovery the recruitment market for pilots is still difficult and there is tough competition. That's the message from the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA).
The union says there are 2,000 unemployed commercial pilots in the UK and issued a warning to those thinking about embarking on a pilot training course, that finding a job at the end may be difficult. BALPA says the next six months will provide a better indicator of the employment landscape for the next two years and urged people to research the job market and consider all options before committing to expensive training courses.
Wendy Pursey, Head of Membership and Careers Services at BALPA said: “For many people a career in flying is a life-long dream, but it is important to understand the current job market before embarking on training or that dream could easily become a nightmare.
"Covid-19 has hit aviation hard and many experienced pilots are out of work. It means there is huge competition for each job. At this stage there is tentative movement towards recovery, but it remains a fragile position.
“It is vital that anyone wanting to take the first steps in a piloting career really researches the current job market and considers this position when paying upwards of £100,000 for training. They may find there are no or limited jobs available at the end. Pilot Careers Live is an opportunity to ask difficult questions and trainees should not shy away from this.
“They should also look to take advantage of BALPA’s free nextGen membership which gives members access to the wider pilot community and BALPA resources.
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