Don’t start training to become a pilot now, says BALPA

The union has taken the unprecedented step of warning prospective pilots to think twice before beginning training 

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has issued a stark warning to future pilots saying that they should think again before embarking on a pilot training course.  

This extraordinary step comes as the union says there are no jobs and that it wants to, “help students avoid paying upwards of £100,000 for training, only to find there are no jobs available at the end.” 

(Photo: Aviation Image Network/Bailey)

In a recorded video message, Wendy Pursey, head of membership and careers services at BALPA said there are currently 10,000 unemployed commercial pilots across Europe including 1,600 in the UK. 

“At this stage, our best estimate is that there will be no meaningful recruitment for the next two years and for those entering the pilot job market, the reality of finding a flying job over the next few years is going to be incredibly difficult,” she added. 

Pursey went on to say that in the current climate it would be “irresponsible” for the organisation not to do anything other than warn potential students “not to enter flight training right now, especially given the huge training costs involved.” 

The union also said that people leaving employment to start training should not do so, but instead create a plan to train around their current job “until such a time that airlines’ future recruitment plans become much clearer”. 

For those about the leave education, BALPA advised those people to “gain experience in another profession” prior to undertaking any training. 

Concluding, Pursey said: “I am sorry this message cannot be more positive but sadly this message is realistic.