The Air League charity has announced a major funding grant by the Department for Transport, with additional support by key industry partners for its career enrichment programme.

As part of the Department for Transport’s new Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund, launched today, the Air League’s Soaring to Success Programme will receive a £50,000 grant. The programme is designed for students in state-funded education and compliments existing career provisions by providing accessible, in-depth information and knowledge that showcases the vast range of incredible roles and opportunities available within aviation and aerospace.

Delivered across the academic year with support from industry, the programme comprises of three stages that provide an overview and insight into the career pathways available. The government grant will help to support up to 35,000 spaces on the programme throughout 2023. Crucially, this will include 1,100 in-person flying and engineering tasting days, as well as employability workshops for pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Boeing and BA

The Department joins several other funding partners, including Boeing, who have donated £34,000 to cover two regional projects in the West Midlands and South Yorkshire. British Airways have donated funds, that will cover a pilot project in the Greater London area around London City Airport, and the William Gibbs Trust have also committed to supporting the scheme throughout the year in the East of England region.

The programme will be split into three distinct stages, starting with national careers conferences open to anyone aged 13-17 in the UK, that allow individuals to gain an insight into the distinct career opportunities. Participants in eligible areas are then directed onto stage two, an e-learning enrichment course that comprises of industry led and academically designed modules.

In stage three individuals can progress onto further enhanced in-person career, skill, and employment workshops combined with air experience and engineering taster days. In partnership with TalentView Aviation, participants are then directed onto further opportunities to continue their career within the aviation, aerospace, and space industries.

Tearing down institutional barriers

To mark the announcement Ian Morrison, CEO of the Air League, said: “I’m extremely pleased that the Department for Transport and key industry players have recognised the potential and opportunity which Air League’s Soaring to Success programme can offer young people.

“By financially backing the scheme the Government is not just providing vital funding for thousands of young people. They are also recognising the importance of Air League’s mission to tear down the institutional barriers within our industry, and to encourage more young people – especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds – down the paths of aerospace, aviation, and space.”
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