easyJet, a UK-based airline, is set to launch the first ever airline-supported UK degree course specifically for pilots, namely the BSc (Hons) degree in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice (PAPP).
The airline is partnering with airline training and pilot resourcing company, CTC Aviation, and Middlesex University for the course, which will be run in association with the Institute of Work-based Learning.
Pilots can now earn a degree while undertaking their pilot training. The first two levels of the course are offered by CTC Aviation as part of the CTC Wings training programme, and the third level is achieved with easyJet through the undertaking of type rating, line training and two modules of directed study while the pilots are flying for easyJet.
The course, coupled with training, also enables trainee pilots to access government funding to help finance their training and degree.
Speaking at CTC Aviation’s annual ‘CTC Wings’ graduation ceremony, Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said: ‘I believe that it is absolutely vital to easyJet’s future that we have a pipeline of talented young pilots coming through, which is why I am delighted we are now working in partnership with CTC Aviation and Middlesex University to offer a degree course for our pilots.
‘By offering a clear career path for pilots with faster promotion opportunities, pilots joining easyJet can be confident of a long and successful career.’
Rob Clarke, CEO of CTC Aviation, said: ‘This is a fantastic commitment by easyJet. CTC Aviation is the only organisation approved by Middlesex University to deliver the Professional Aviation Pilot Practice degree programme and easyJet’s support further enriches this ground-breaking initiative by providing a clearly defined career development pathway.’
Dr Darryll Bravenboer, head of Academic Development at Middlesex University, said: ‘We are delighted that easyJet see the value in enabling their pilots to gain a university degree through the innovative integration of CAA approved pilot training and professional learning. The opportunity to gain academic credit from learning at work towards achieving a degree has the potential to inspire a new generation of professional pilots.’
‘The business partnerships that have underpinned this development have also today been recognised through the short listing of this initiative in the 2013 Guardian University Awards.’
easyJet employs around 2,000 pilots in the UK and has taken on 300 new pilots during the course of the year, the airline said.