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New apprenticeship standard announced for commercial airline pilot, widening talent pool for employers

21 March 2017

A new apprenticeship standard for commercial airline pilots is being developed by a specialist sub-group of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, which will be chaired by TUI UK & Ireland, managed by People 1st, and is set to increase opportunities in the aviation industry.

The commercial airline pilot standard, approved for development by the Department for Education, is also supported by other leading aviation employers, including, Monarch Group, British Airways and FlyBe, and has the backing of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Stuart Gruber, Director of Flight Operations at Thomson Airways, TUI Group, said:

 “We’re really proud to lead on an industry-first to develop the pilot apprenticeship standard.

 “As a pilot myself, I’m really passionate about what an exciting opportunity this apprenticeship represents to those looking to join the aviation industry. It means that becoming a pilot will be a more accessible career option for many, and provide a platform to diversify the profession.

 “At Thomson Airways we’re really excited about what this apprenticeship could mean to our current employees as well as anyone looking to join our company, as we’re dedicated to giving employees the chance to learn and grow in their roles.”

Pauline Prow, chief people officer at Monarch Group, and chair of the Aviation Industry Skills Board, comments:

“This apprenticeship is a great route to increase opportunities in the aviation industry, recognising that there are some potentially fantastic individuals who may not be able to consider commercial airline pilot as a career due to the current cost and accessibility.

“We very much look forward to progressing the development of the standard via the specialist interest sub-group under the chairmanship of Andy Smyth of TUI UK & Ireland.”

Roger Gault, of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, adds:

“The new apprenticeship standards will be developed by employers to ensure that apprentices are working to industry based standards that give them the best chance to prosper and grow their career. This initiative will enhance social mobility by opening up a new route into a flying career for those who have the motivation, talent and aptitude but would struggle to find the required funding.”

Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy at People 1st, which has supported the development of 18 apprenticeship standards across the visitor economy, including four in aviation, said:

“The new standard provides an excellent opportunity for aviation employers to access a wider talent pool, and offers clear progression routes into higher level positions in this diverse sector. We are delighted to have supported the Aviation Industry Skills Board with the submission and look forward to working with employers to develop the standard.”

For more information on the development of the standard contact mike.rogers@people1st.co.uk

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