Government funding available for unemployed commercial pilots

Captain Brian Bradley presents to pilots at the Direct Entry Pilot Career Day 2012 in Manchester

The UK government is currently offering support to unemployed commercial pilots, with funding towards Type Upgrades and also towards sim practice for future interview. This funding has come to light after pilots who have recently been made redundant by regional carrier bmi baby sought information from their local job centre and found out about the Redundancy Training Scheme.

Speaking at the Direct Entry Pilot Career Day in Manchester on 2 October, Cpt Brian Bradley from Command Prep explained, “We simply asked at the job centre and they were astounded that pilots generally had no idea about it. It seems ridiculous that we have the situation where skilled and experienced pilots are left with no employment and it’s good that the government has recognised this and is offering funding.”

He stressed, “This funding isn’t towards a Type Rating – it is funding for sim time to work towards a Type Upgrade, or funding for sim practise so a pilot can be well prepared for an interview. For example, the type of funding available will pay for a Type Upgrade from a 737 classic to a 737 NG.” This upgrade training would usually cost pilots around £3,000.

Cpt Bradley added, “We already have pilots waiting for difference courses to be paid by the government, while we have one pilot who has found he can gain funding for sim practise for interview in the future.”

Pilots found this information by asking at Job Centre Plus and the National Careers Advisory Service, which both pointed them towards the Redundancy Training Scheme. The nature of the funding and policies may vary due to region and may also cover other types of difference training.

Cpt Bradley gave advice to anyone seeking this government support. “It’s been around for some time, but obviously it’s not very well-known, so my best suggestion is to go to your local job centre and ask some questions and seewhat help you can get through the scheme in your region.”