Pilots will now be eligible for government financial support for their training, with the launch of a Higher Apprenticeship for pilots.
The Aviation Skills Partnership announced the brand new Higher Apprenticeship at the Professional Flight Training Exhibition at London Heathrow on 20 April. The apprenticeship will lead to a BSc degree and will allow potential pilots to fund their training through Government loan and grant support.
For the first time in 50 years, pilot cadets will have access to financial support from the government which will significantly lessen the financial burden of pilot training. This will include access to a student loan up to £27,000 and a maintenance loan, as well as various grants depending on means testing. The full support available will become clearer as the programme becomes more established.
The apprenticeship has been created by the Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP) with Semta and People 1st, working with other organisations including the CAA and GAPAN. The apprenticeship will lead to a BSc Degree with Honours in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice, in association with Middlesex University – and the degree will include a pilot’s licence which meets all CAA requirements whilst undergoing all of their training at the flight training organisation and airline.
The University will be underpinning the main framework of the degree, but the cadets will not actually have to attend the university campus to attain the degree, Simon Witts of the Aviation Skills Partnership explains. All training will take place at the FTO. He added, “There will no difference between this degree pathway and an integrated course to an f(ATPL) currently delivered by FTOs.” The FTOs currently on board with the scheme are CAE OAA, CTC and Flying Time Aviation.
There are no airlines officially affiliated with the apprenticeship at the moment, although Simon explained that many of the airlines have responded positively and partnerships will be announced in due course.
The main focus behind this apprenticeship is to enable wider access to a pilot career, increasing diversity within the industry. The programme will lead to Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship, the first of its kind – a qualification equivalent to an undergraduate degree.
Ray Elgy, Head of Licensing and Training Standards at the CAA, and Chairman of the HAPAPP Programme Board said, “This apprenticeship programme will greatly benefit the aviation industry in both the long and short term. Airlines will be able to draw upon a new generation of talent to fill future flight decks, while a broader recruitment pool will add a diversity of background and experience to their operations, which can only be a positive.”
The first students are expected to enrol on the scheme from July 2013 and more details, including information advice and guidance for budding pilots can be found at aviationskillspartnership.com