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UK Teen calls for government support for trainee pilots

A UK teenager has called on the Government to help him achieve his dream of becoming an airline pilot.

Josh Bough, a Year 13 student at Droitwich Spa High School and Sixth Form Centre, has won a place on an Integrated Airlines Course run by the Pilot Training College in Florida. The 17-year-old is a keen member of the Air Cadets and hoped to become a pilot in the RAF before the force took the step to suspend all recruitment.

To complete the course, Josh will need to pay £82,000, a sum which is currently out of his reach due to a lack of funding support for courses of this type.

He said, “The problem is there are no grants available for this kind of course, which seems daft to me. I have friends that will go off to university who can borrow £40,000 or £50,000 with little or no guarantee of a job at the end of their studies.” Whilst a job is by no means a sure thing for any pilot coming through the system, Josh argues that a pilot qualification offers a higher chance of employment at the end than most graduate careers, and the opportunity to earn a salary “two or three times that of a ‘normal’ graduate”. However, the government currently has no scheme to support trainee pilots.

The teenager has taken his concerns to the highest level and written to Droitwich MP Peter Luff to press for a solution to help him secure his career.

In reply, Mr Luff said, “I can think of no arguments against the points you raised so I have referred it on to the government minister responsible for higher education asking for his observations.”

Josh said he was glad Mr Luff had taken his approach so seriously and added, “This is a great opportunity and there is no way my family can afford to pay for me. I am looking forward to hearing the minister’s reply.”