Gary Cutts, leading the research and technology to deliver a more electric, autonomous and environmentally friendly aviation system at the UKRI has announced the Future Flight challenge (FFC) is launching a new £500,000 funding call for those able to take the baton for training future aviation participants.
In a social media statement Cutts says “as the FFC is accelerating through its third phase of large-scale demonstration of innovation for the future of aviation, we must consider not only how this network will develop, but also how it will be maintained and expanded in future.
“We know that both those in the aviation sector already, and those in the wider infrastructure and industries will be impacted by the move to future flight concepts. Historically we’ve seen that with the introduction of any new innovations, followed by moves to substantially increase their scale and uptake, there is often a rather inevitable skills gap.
“This begins to take place at the point where those involved in growing the sector start to extend beyond those initially responsible for the creation of the innovations themselves. To overcome this, the industry needs to begin to turn its focus onto skills and training.
“The aim is to create and deliver course content and materials that will support talent progression across the sector and its supply chains. This could focus on: schools; apprenticeships: university students and graduates; vocational and technical training; upskilling opportunities.
“Whether it’s a training organisation able to manage the logistics of courses, or academic and business stakeholders able to help shape the content these courses need to include to equip trainees properly, the FFC is looking to support those taking the lead in skills development.
“Skills transfer from existing industries
“An important part of this wider training topic is the transfer of skills from existing to new techniques, knowledge and capabilities.
“Whether this takes the form of re-skilling workforces within the organisations who will be part of the new system, or on an individual basis for those looking to future-proof careers.
“Either way, it’s a crucial element of enabling the new aviation system to integrate with and support the existing transport network in the UK. It’s also an area that will need to be demonstrated by those applying for FFC funding for managing aviation training opportunities.”
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