Coachlines - April 2022

25.04.22 Freeman Simon Witts

IASTI provides career pathways into aviation

The aviation industry globally desperately needs a sustainable supply of skilled people from all backgrounds as it quickly bounces back post-pandemic, writes Freeman Simon Witts.

Freeman Simon Witts

Throughout his career, Simon became intensely frustrated that the industry could not directly recruit the people with the right skills that were needed when other sectors seemed to have ‘direct to job’ pathways. Hence, off the back of a career in the industry (and being brought up in an environment of a ‘national training system’) he created a movement’ to mobilise a national and international system to ensure a ready supply of people with the right knowledge, skills and behaviours. Critically, this system needed to ensure that industry would not have to separately invest or duplicate what the education system was established to do.

The International Air & Space Training Institute (IASTI®) started its work in early 2020 working locally, nationally and internationally to engage, educate and train the next generation of aviation professionals. It is delivering solutions for this urgent requirement by putting IASTI® at the heart of the industry, training and education space. It is moving quickly to put its unique solutions on the ground to showcase its model.

Very much following the Coachmakers’ aim of investing in young people, IASTI® London City was launched across the water from London City Airport in September with 50+ 16 to 18-year-olds starting their full-time industry training whilst fully integrated into the education system. They are then able to ‘pre-qualify’ to progress to the ‘finishing school’ elements, again integrated into the education system through the 18+ part of its Launch Pathways. London City was selected as the location due to the excellent communication access, challenges of social mobility and the need to widen participation, proximity to civil and military bases and related industries.

This approach ensures that employers can select from a ready supply rather than having to turn people away or invest in duplicative training to give them the skills they need. The first three pathways launched – flight dispatch, engineering and pilot – were specifically chosen to focus people on the ‘sharp end’ of flight operations.

IASTI® London City has rapidly become the showcase and flagship, with ambitious plans to grow further IASTI®s in up to 12 UK locations and international destinations too.

Simon comments, “With sustainability at our core, in all of its senses, by 2025 we are working to ensure that IASTI® is the benchmark for industry training. In a unique ‘collaboration before competition’ approach IASTI®’s network will span the globe creating a sustainable supply of people from all backgrounds, opening up the industry to those who had no access or connection possibilities.”

The Stakeholder Board is chaired by Boeing, and counts Embraer, the RAF and London City Airport among its members. Chair, Nichola Bates, Boeing said at the Dubai Air Show in 2021: “I am immensely proud to be leading the industry partners on the IASTI® Stakeholder Board as we launch our scale-up based on a successful UK pilot. The world needs a sustainable supply of the right people from truly diverse backgrounds, centred on ability and opportunity, and I am confident that we have found the right solution to achieve that. I encourage all of industry to get behind this initiative with its ‘collaboration before competition’ approach”.

To learn more follow the link