Molly Copeland, 2023

Employee Attraction


Working Draft By BCIT Student Graduation Project – Do Not Cite

Reducing Financial Barriers to Entry

The following section will highlight training programs offered by various types of aviation companies around the world. While it is more common to see subsidized programs for technical roles, Singapore Airlines demonstrates with their undergraduate scholarships that incentive programs can be used to attract staff in all areas of the company. Implementing programs, such as the examples shown below, can make careers in aviation more attainable for everyone by reducing or eliminating the up front costs associated with training and education.

Nav Canada

One of the few aviation companies in Canada that offer paid training is Nav Canada. Nav Canada is a private, not-for-profit company that hires candidates for air traffic control and flight service specialist positions without prior experience in the industry. The application process is rigorous and candidates are being assessed based on their skills and how they would perform in certain situations. Once candidates have been accepted for training, they are paid a training salary. Training involves classroom and simulator time, then on the job training until the candidate is proficient enough to work alone. A program like this offers little risk to applicants as the training is paid and no prerequisites are needed. Upon successful completion of the training, candidates are guaranteed a job.

In an interview with a Nav Canada employee, regarding the hiring process, they mentioned that candidates enjoy how focused the program is, the fact that it is paid, and the potential for a high salary upon completion. Even with training benefits, Nav Canada is still having trouble attracting applicants. According to this employee, one way to improve the program would be to simplify it. “For me, it’s the complexity. I used to teach people, and the simpler you can make something the easier it is for them to learn. For us, we need to focus our operations a little more to make things simpler for the next generation.”

For more information about Nav Canada’s air traffic control and flight service specialist training programs, visit NAV CANADA. The full interview is available on the Industry Interaction page.

Coulson Aviation

Coulson Aviation was recently approved as an Approved Training Organization (ATO) by Transport Canada and is now the first aviation company approved to provide training in aircraft structures. Coulson Aviation can now train students towards an AME-S licence at no cost to the student. The student is on payroll for the duration of the course and can further supplement their income by working for the company outside of schooling hours. A full-time position is guaranteed upon successful completion of the schooling portion allowing students to complete an apprenticeship and earn a full AME-S licence.

Coulson Aviation President and COO, Britton Coulson, said in a press release, “By going through their schooling and apprenticeship here at Coulson, working alongside licensed team members on actual aircraft and projects, they become much more well-rounded technicians. As Coulson continues to grow, we see this re-investment in future technicians as a path to sustainably maintain a well-trained and dedicated workforce.” 

The full press release is linked here: Coulson Aviation In House Training.

Lufthansa Technik

Another paid program geared towards aircraft maintenance engineers is offered by Lufthansa Technik. Lufthansa Technik is the world’s leading provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul services in the aviation industry. They are based in Germany and have locations around the world. Lufthansa Technik realizes the need for attractive job prospects and paid training to attract employees.

“We need reinforcements for the decade ahead: … The job market has changed a great deal: In a constantly evolving world, we increasingly find ourselves in the situation of no longer being able to choose but having to be chosen as an attractive employer. In this respect, vocational training of highly qualified workers remains one of our most important measures for securing the future” (Barbara Koerner, Head of Training & Dual Studies at Lufthansa Technik).

Lufthansa Technik offers a variety of paid programs in many different areas. Apprenticeships last between three and three and a half years with 18 months of basic training and a further 18 to 24 months of operational assignments. Apprentices are given a number of other benefits including 25 paid vacation days.

The company also has dual studies programs where students complete an internship and a bachelor’s degree which includes theoretical and practical training. Tuition fees at partner universities are paid by Lufthansa Technik and students receive a monthly allowance. Dual studies students also have access to subsidized public transport tickets in addition to many other benefits. 

To find more information about specific programs, visit Lufthansa Technik’s career page here: Lufthansa Technik

Singapore Airlines 

A number of airlines have pilot programs that provide candidates with structured training and a guaranteed position in the airline upon successful completion. Some examples of these programs are Delta Airlines’ Propel Flight Academy, United Airlines’ Aviate Academy, and European Flight Academy by the Lufthansa Group. These programs offer some funding options but are overall still very expensive for the pilot in training.

Singapore Airlines (SIA), on the other hand, has an Ab Initio Cadet Pilot Program in which pilots receive a monthly allowance while training and have a guaranteed position with the airline after completion. The airline benefits from the program by having an employee for a minimum of seven years, allowing them to regain the investment of training their pilots, and pilots benefit by earning a salary while training as well as having a guaranteed job out of flight school. 

In addition to a pilot program, SIA offers three different undergraduate scholarships which cover the tuition and fees of a wide variety of programs overseas. Once finished schooling, students are required to work for SIA for a minimum of six years.

These programs showcase how Singapore Airlines is proactively creating a steady stream of staff in all areas of the airline. The undergraduate scholarships attract candidates in a wide variety of fields who can bring their expertise into the business and management side of the airline. 

To learn more about Singapore Airlines Ab Initio Cadet Pilot Program, visit SIA Ab Initio Cadet Pilot Program.

The scholarships offered by SIA are explained in more detail here: SIA Scholarships.

Verified by ExactMetrics