EasyJet to recruit 1,000 new pilots to boost gender diversity - how you can become one

EasyJet is launching a new drive to recruit 1,000 pilots over the next five years to attract more diverse candidates from all walks of life.

The programme’s advertising campaign was released on Monday (31 January), and includes some of the airline’s own pilots to showcase how everyone has the potential to turn their skills and passions to successfully becoming a pilot.

The new training programme comes amid predictions of a busy summer with many in the UK booking holidays for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

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    What is easyJet’s new pilot training programme?

    EasyJet’s new programme is part of its efforts to recruit the next generation of pilots, focusing on encouraging more women to tackle the gender imbalance in the industry.

    The programme is an opportunity for women to consider this career and join the airline.

    EasyJet has nearly doubled its number of female pilots since the launch of the Amy Johnson initiative in 2015, but the pandemic halted the amount of new recruits.

    The company is aiming to be back to pre-pandemic levels this summer, with many newly qualified female pilots set to join the airline in the coming months.

    What is included in the ad campaign?

    The campaign launches on Monday (31 January) across the airline’s UK and Europe social media channels.

    In one of the ads Mum-of-two, captain Iris de Kan, is seen with her five-year-old daughter to showcase how those with multi-tasking skills could make excellent pilots.

    Nina Lee, former gymnast and now senior first officer with the airline, is shown performing a split leap on the tarmac to highlight her hand-eye coordination - a key skill for aspiring pilots, the company said.

    Former resident DJ and now easyJet senior first officer Aaron Moseley is also shown as someone who completely transitioned careers.

    His hands-on practical skills enabled him to switch the club decks for the flight decks.

    How can you apply to become a pilot?

    Aspiring pilots will need to be aged 18 or over by the time they begin training in order to apply to the Generation easyJet Pilot Training Programme.

    Candidates must also have a minimum of five General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) of Grade C or above (or equivalent), including Mathematics, Science and English language.

    No higher qualifications or degrees are required.

    You will need the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK, EU or Switzerland, and be able to fluently speak and write in English.

    The intensive industry-leading training course will take those with little to no flying experience to operating a commercial passenger aircraft in around two years.

    Aspiring pilots can find out more information and apply today to the training programme by heading to easyJet’s become a pilot website.

    What have current pilots said?

    Captain Iris de Kan said: “It’s important that girls have visible role models so we can combat job stereotypes and show that anyone with the motivation and passion can turn their skills to being an airline pilot.

    "I love the responsibility and challenge that comes with my job – but it’s not as challenging as juggling the demands of a five-year old and a little baby at home.”

    Senior first officer Aaron Moseley said he is "really proud to be a black man who is also a role model for the next generation."

    He added: "Growing up, I never had the chance to see or know a black airline pilot.

    "I’m proud to be able to go into schools to talk to young people and show that you can develop skills through all kinds of experiences like music and sport that they can channel into becoming a pilot, and have the opportunities to achieve their dreams too.”

    Gymnast turned senior first officer Nina Le said her skills meant becoming a pilot was the "perfect match."

    She said: “Combining my love of travel with the practical skills I learnt on the gym floor really does make being a pilot the perfect match.

    "I love my job and would really encourage anyone who loves a challenge - and of course great views - to consider it.”

    What have easyJet said?

    Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said: "We are delighted to be reopening our pilot training programme again for the first time since the pandemic hit and will see us recruit over 1,000 new pilots in the coming years.

    "easyJet has long championed greater diversity in the flight deck and this series of ads aims to highlight the extraordinary breadth of skills our pilots have and show that pilots can be found in all walks of life, in a bid to attract more diverse candidates.”

    He added: “We continue to focus on challenging gendered stereotypes of the career having doubled the number of female pilots flying with us in recent years.

    "We also acknowledge that while we have made progress, there is still work to do. Increasing diversity in all of its forms in the flight deck is a long-term focus for easyJet and so we will continue to ensure we lead the industry on this issue.”