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Published on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Don't become a pilot, you won't find a job, union warns students

Would-be pilots have been told to stop chasing their career dreams and to find another profession.

Pilot's union BALPA warned potential trainees they could be wasting £100,000 on qualifications without hope of finding work.

With an estimated 10,000 pilots in Europe out of work, including 1600 in the UK, the opportunities for employment would be slim, it said.

BALPA acknowledged it was 'extraordinary' to warn off trainees but insisted it had a duty to spell out the picture for students.

"Many pilots are working part time or on reduced pay to save jobs. And there are already around 200 trainees in flight training schools who were on a path to jobs with easyJet who now have no clear route to even a licence, far less a job," BALPA Head of Membership and Careers Services Wendy Pursey said.

"This is not a positive picture for anyone whose heart is set on entering this profession. There will be fewer jobs, with more people competing for each one even once this pandemic is over.

"In this situation it would be irresponsible if we did anything other than warn people to consider delaying their flight training at this time."

Pursey urged potential pilots to find experience in another profession and postpone any training until the industry is in 'more robust shape'.

Those determined to push on should consider the modular training route which 'provide the opportunity to learn and work in other fields', Pursey added.

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