The UK government is to invest an additional £750,000 (US$955,000) to encourage young people to consider a career in aviation.
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 its mission to spread opportunity and help people of all ages and groups to 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.
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 and helping to grow the economy.
The Department for Transport will work with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to deliver the program, building on outreach programs 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.
Baroness Vere, UK Aviation Minister, 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 organizational capacity and STEM sponsor at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, 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.”
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