The UK government has announced the appointment of new ‘Aviation Ambassadors’ in the hope of encouraging more young people into the industry.
Today the aviation minister, Anthony Browne, appointed 10 new industry champions to serve as mentors and advocates, attending schools, mentoring events and workshops to showcase their experience and encourage young people to use their skills in aviation.
The line-up ranges from a TikTok influencer who specialises in showing life behind-the-scenes at Heathrow Airport, to a seasoned Air Cadet commander with over a decade’s experience and a private pilot licence.
As well as delivering their own bespoke outreach activities to underrepresented groups, the ambassadors will also offer advice on where pathways into aviation can be created or improved – making it easier for young people to join the sector.
The minister said: “As the aviation industry evolves, these new Aviation Ambassadors will shine a light on this rewarding sector, attracting talented individuals who might otherwise miss their opportunity.
“These Ambassadors will help to attract even more innovation and creativity to the industry, showcasing the opportunities available in this exciting new era of new technology and decarbonisation.”
As the sector continues to grow following the pandemic, having a young and diverse workforce that can embrace and adapt to new challenges will ensure the UK is at the cutting edge of the aviation industry, the government said.
One of the new ambassadors is Alice Goodwin, a design and development engineer at Virgin Atlantic with a passion for STEM.
With a unique role in avionics and extensive outreach experience, she is a mentor to young people at numerous aviation organisations supporting women and people from underrepresented backgrounds to take up aviation careers.
“Aviation engineering is a dynamic and interesting industry, full of passionate and inspiring individuals,” she said.
“I am really looking forward to being an ambassador and having the platform to showcase the amazing opportunities available in our industry to young people.”
The government has awarded 10 schemes “at the forefront of inspiring and engaging young people” a share of £750,000 from the next round of its Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund.
For those who have previously struggled to get a foothold in the industry, the aim of the fund is to dismantle barriers and target schemes that serve as entry points for many, supporting individuals from underprivileged backgrounds or underrepresented groups.
Image: Official portrait of the UK aviation minister Anthony Browne