September 10, 2018 That's All Media

Could a Pilot Shortage Help Social Mobility?

A pilot used to be a dream job, not any more. World leaders in aviation, CAE, have forecast that in the next 10 years the world will require 255,000 new pilots. Currently, around 20,000 new pilots are recruited per year, so the maths suggests it will not be enough unless something changes.

At the current rate there will be an obvious gap between pilots required and pilots available, so how can we fill that gap? Right now, around the world, only 5% of pilots are women, and 3% of pilots are people of colour. So this is a job market incredibly saturated by one demographic, so the opportunity is there to open up the field.

The older, less diverse, the baby boomer generation is reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65. So, as the years go by I would expect things to change in this industry as the young blood comes through.

There are other problems though, according to flightdeckfriend.com training to be a pilot means forking out £40,000 at the bare minimum, and can be up to a whopping £120,000 for the top courses. But compare that with the average salary of a pilot which is £79,000pa, and it suddenly doesn’t look as bad as my £50,000 student debt and the average salary of around £25,000 in my industry.

Roughly 50% of the required pilots for the next 10 years haven’t started their training yet, so if you’re not sitting in a cockpit reading this then don’t worry you can still go for it.

If you still want to live out your childhood dream of becoming a pilot then now is the best chance. The industry is going to be changing, and when change happens everyone is invited.

We’re supporting campaigners who see this situation as an opportunity for helping social mobility – with working class people getting opportunities to earn more and solve social problems. Even aviation schools like Herefordshire based Tiger Aviation are campaigning to bring this challenge to the fore. That’s All Media will be using our skills to help these campaigners to tell their stories.

Written by: Aiden Perrins

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