“UK first” training facility opens with post-16 courses tailored to aviation careers

A new training facility next to London City Airport has been launched today (14 July) to offer the UK’s first post-16 courses tailored to careers in the aviation industry.

Alongside its Newark counterpart, the International Air and Space Training Institute (IASTI) London City hopes to transform the aviation industry’s approach to training by embedding industry-led courses in mainstream education.

In partnership with London Design and Engineering University Technical College – situated across the runway from London City Airport – IASTI London City will welcome its first students in September.

Simon Witts, CEO of IASTI, said: “The aviation industry is facing a severe shortage of skilled people that is jeopardising its future. This has only worsened as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“IASTI offers a new vision for the industry – one that says a sustainable future is possible. Integrating mainstream education with the air and space sector will provide a pipeline of talented young people trained in line with the specific requirements of the industry, helping combat the skills shortage.

“We hope this is the start of a shift towards aviation careers being accessible to all, and helping the industry build a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

“Not only will this yield important benefits for society, it will ensure the aviation industry can benefit from the skills and talents of the widest possible pool of people.”

Young people aged 16 to 18 are currently enrolling on one of three unique training programmes: engineering, ground operations and piloting.

Each course has been co-designed and will be co-taught by industry professionals, meaning students will “learn in line with the stringent requirements of the industry” – from the age of 16.

It will be first time a single facility has simultaneously provided training on each of these three industry pillars, with all courses overlapping and interacting.

Work-based qualifications up to a BSc (Hons) will be the reward for students finishing each pathway.

Geoffrey Fowler, CEO and Principal of London Design and Engineering University Technical College (LDE UTC), added: “I am delighted that LDE UTC has been chosen to be the brand-new lead partner of IASTI London City.

“This exciting partnership will bring yet more opportunities for the young people of Newham and London, raising their aspirations and inspiring them to begin their journey into a dynamic career in aviation.

“We are looking forward to delivering state of the art modern pedagogy allowing learners the chance to explore sustainability, technology and personal skills that will equip them to shape the aviation industry of the future.”

Industry giants have recognised the promise of this groundbreaking institute and flocked to support IASTI London City.

Embraer, London City Airport and Boeing are among IASTI London City’s industry partners and representatives from each organisation spoke at today’s launch.

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