Runway to a brighter future as government invests in next generation of aviators
Funding to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to work in aviation and support the industry to address sustainability and new technologies.
- government commits £750,000 to inspire future generations of aviators
- funding will grow the economy by boosting employment and ensuring that the aviation industry has a workforce fit for the future
- part of the Generation Aviation initiative, a government-industry collaboration aiming to support the aviation industry to address issues like sustainability and new technologies
Aviation Minister Baroness Vere has announced £750,000 of additional government funding to encourage young people to consider a career in aviation during a visit to Norwich Airport today.
The funding is part of the Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund, first announced in 2022, and is designed to break down barriers for those who have previously struggled to get a foothold in the aviation industry. It targets those schemes which provide an entry point for people who are from underprivileged backgrounds or under-represented groups, building on our mission to spread opportunity and help people of all ages and groups into work.
The scheme is one strand of the government’s Generation Aviation initiative, which aims to support the industry by delivering sustainable aviation and growing the economy.
By making sure the workforce is open to people of all backgrounds, the initiative will bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the table, enabling the industry to adapt and thrive.
Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said:
I want the aviation sector to be an inclusive and inviting one, and I am committed to ensuring that young people have opportunities to pursue rewarding careers in this sector.
This investment is crucial to help make the UK the best place in the world for aviation and grow the economy, with a diverse workforce that can effectively address challenges today and in the future.
The government is dedicated to working with the industry to ensure that jobs in the aviation sector are accessible to everyone.
Sophie Jones, Head of Organisational Capacity and STEM Sponsor at UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said:
The Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund is playing a key role in removing barriers for those who want to pursue a career in aviation and aerospace.
The fund will help give young people the knowledge and training they need to develop essential skills for the sector.
Investing in diverse mindsets is an important part of developing an innovative future for aviation in the UK.
Richard Pace, Managing Director of Norwich Airport, said:
We’re committed to building a sustainable aviation industry and we’re delighted to be showcasing with our partners some of the exciting work already happening in and around Norwich Airport.
From the use of sustainable fuels to the electrification of aircraft, it’s vital that we have the skills for the future. This announcement from the Minister will be warmly welcomed by the industry and help inspire the next generation about careers in aviation.
This pot of funding will be allocated to a variety of outreach programs and events across the UK to educate young people about the opportunities available in the sector, growing the workforce by removing barriers, helping to grow the economy.
Last year’s winners included Flight Crowd’s one-week boot camp, where young people aged 14 to 18 designed future electric aircrafts and Resilient Pilot’s virtual mentoring scheme, which mentored, coached and provided competency-focused career pathway programmes for students to achieve their dreams of flying.
Widening the reach of the aviation industry to potential aviators will bring together new ideas and new thinking to help overcome the major challenges that face the industry like decarbonisation.
That is why as part of this announcement, Baroness Vere is visiting Norwich Airport, which is fast becoming a centre of excellence for sustainable aviation.
The Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund allocated £130,000 for a summer school at the airport’s academy, with the Norfolk-based social Enterprise NUNCATS, where students made aviation history by building the first ever British electric light aircraft.
Furthermore, the Department for Transport will be working closely with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to deliver the programme, building on outreach programmes, like the recently announced Virtual Work Experience Scheme, to encourage the uptake of STEM subjects. The CAA will work with hopefuls through its STEM team allocating the funding among the winning applicants.