'Tomorrow's People, Today' conference is a big success

Friday, July 28, 2023

Airport terminal at sunset

Over 130 delegates came together for the BBGA’s Annual Conference, ‘Tomorrow’s People, Today,’ which was held last week at Luton Hoo.

Naturally, Aviation Job Search attended the conference to seek insights into how companies were planning to inspire and train the next generation of aviation professionals.

Marc Bailey, CEO of BBGA, said, “Wherever you look in our industry, whether that’s in flight operations, ground operations or airworthiness, right the way across aviation, we are not encouraging enough people to join us. We are on the cusp and really need to do something about it.”

We are on the cusp and really need to do something about it.” 

Speakers throughout the day included Aoife O'Sullivan (The Air Law Firm,) Adrian Whitmarsh (Premier Aviation,) Jason Hayward (Universal Aviation,) Alex Durand (Saxonair,) Nelson Pereira (Netjets,) and James Dillon Godfray (Oxford Airport.)

Karen Spencer, chairman of the STEM APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diversity and Inclusion) moderated the panel for ‘Training new entrants,’ and highlighted some key issues that candidates will face if they opt for a career in aviation.  

She said, “In the education world, aviation is hidden as a discipline and I think it is because it cuts across so many different sectors: STEM, logistics, business, and so the Department of Education specialists can’t put you in a neat package or pathway. There is work to be done on how you become visible as an industry to educationalists.”

STEM APPG was established to educate Parliament and Government, carry out research and propose policy designed to further the aims of promoting high-tech science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related aviation jobs throughout the UK.

Spencer continued, “You are competing in an industry that is a very competitive market already, and without clear pathways that are obvious to young people, they are not going to take the first step.”

Speaking on behalf of the Pilot Apprenticeships & Aviation Industry Skills Board, Roger Gault explored the notion of engaging the next generation before students have decided what subjects they wish to study at school. He said, “In my experience it’s from a character-forming experience, such as going into the cockpit.”

Gault also placed emphasis on the importance of apprenticeships as an alternative route into the industry.

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