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“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to award official student status to british trainee professional pilots…” Details of Petition:
“Air travel is becoming ever more important and the demand for professional pilots is increasing exponentially yet training costs are massive (£35,000 - £100,000), finance is of personal responsibility and qualification offers no guarantee of employment. Therefore many ambitious and talented individuals are hindered or even prohibited from flying careers. The Government provides loans, grants & incentives to encourage students to attain qualifications which often have little employment value, it backs apprentice schemes in the majority of skilled professions yet it is ignorant to assist aspiring pilots. Furthermore unlike the UK many countries such as France, Sweden and America provide low interest, unsecured tuition/course fee loans to student pilots. In resolution I propose that the British Government award official student status to trainee professional pilots and thereby provide: *Entitlement to standard low interest, unsecured student loans (full training course value) *VAT exemption on training & examinations *Council Tax exemption & reduced Income Tax *Discount on learning resources & travel Pilot-Career.”
The Government’s response
Thank you for your e-petition. The student support system in this country is only designed to provide support for students pursuing courses of Higher Education (HE) at publicly funded institutions in the United Kingdom (UK), or where the course is provided by such an institution outside the UK. There are a number of institutions in the UK which offer degrees linked to the aviation industry and some include opportunities to undertake pilot training. In these cases the Student Support Regulations allow us to fund the academic elements of the course. The commercial pilot’s licence element of the course is vocational and extremely expensive and, as has always been the case, must be self-funded. One possible solution may be for students to finance their studies through a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL). PCDLs represent a step change in the highly successful Career Development Loan (CDL) programme. They are deferred repayment bank loans run in partnership with two banks - Barclays, and The Co-operative Bank initially, although we expect more banks to join soon. PCDLs offer more competitive interest rates and an increased maximum loan of £10,000. In 2010-11 we will make available up to 45,000 loans.
The whole petition was unrealistic in my book. The only element i thought may have been considered was the VAT exemption or even a reduction on courses. However why would the government want to throw all that money away? Was there ever any great incentive for them to do so given the pressure for a 'greener environment' and to curb public spending. This would have been a red rag to a bull for the environmental lobbyists with the government openly and actively supporting the devil that is aviation. Why it would have been in the same vein as funding terorism.
There are no end of people able to fund the cost of a commercial pilots licence. There is nearly always an oversupply of pilots, and even if there weren't, it would be a matter for the industry to address rather than the taxpayer. If supposedly ambitious and talented people are being obstructed in pursuit of this occupation, it might suggest they are not ambitious or talented enough. There is currently and forseeably, a near total collapse in the demand for inexperienced or ab-initio level pilots. Yet as evidenced on even these forums, there are whole swathes of people oblivious to the reality and still prepared to fund their own training in pusuit of an enormous gamble.
Even taking a more much optimistic view of the near and medium term future, the enthusiasm to join the supply chain would negate any imperitive for the taxpayer to need to support or increase this level of supply.
Hardly suprising from the Labour lot. Even if they are determined to make every young unemployed person a PE techer or Brick layer. Being an airline pilot is far to eliteist for them....just as fox hunting is. Ask for a tax break on training for a life time of benefit abusing and you'll get somewhere!
Y. If supposedly ambitious and talented people are being obstructed in pursuit of this occupation, it might suggest they are not ambitious or talented enough.
Agree with everything you say bar the above. I think talented and ambitious people can also be cautious people, and the thought of securing a loan of many thousands of pounds against a parent's home (or their own) is a blockage that prevents many from getting into the industry. Whilst I appreciate the Modular route provides a more affordable route, it is still far from cheap and beyond many people's means, unless of course they can secure a significantly well paid job prior to their training which, in the current climate, is not an easy task.
Yes indeed Matt, which Is why I suggested maybe not ambitious or talented enough. For those determined enough, there is usually a way, albeit not necessarily an easy or quick way. Although not a point you are making particularly, it is interesting to note the idea that a secured loan can be secured on a parents house. Whilst it undoubtably can, it isn't that simple either. The lender will normally want to ensure that the borrower (with the security) can afford the repayments from their own income. Having a security doesn't necessarily satisfy the lending requirement. Particulary so where it is an additional borrowing charge. In other words mum and dad having a home, doesn't mean junior can borrow against it. It may be that mum and dad might be able to, but that isn't necessarily a foregone conclusion either.
Might be the case, however prior to the most recent financial events 2 rather well known high street banks were quite willing to throw a vast ammount of money at my training, based on the potential job offer at the end. My parents, though hardly in the duldrums financially, live within their means and would never have been able to fund the loan repayments, should I have been a moron, they would have lost their home. Not a risk I was ever willing to take, however I found a "third way" in.
The alternative, live at home work 7 days to fund it bit by bit was the back up, but even that would have left me financially very streched - even the room at home don't come free anymore!
I see the point you are trying to make, and I do understand and agree that where there is a will there is a way, but some inherantly talented individuals (and I am quite clearly not talking about me there ) from humble backgrounds will always be scared away when they see the price list.
Does anyone know the address of "Fred the shred" of Edi?need to send him my Oxford's bussiness plan template,in need of some cash here you know?!I like my backside and whoring isn't a option!!lololololololololol
Interesting that the governments response is to suggest you take on debt to self fund rather than going and getting a job and saving. That would be the same approach that got us into this whole recession thingy wouldn't it?
Well - while the UK certainly isn't short of a few pilots here and there, this whole tax-free training idea is how it works in Canada and then there's the training income tax deduction plus tax credits for each month spent in part or full-time training. Not so "hardly surprising" in my view.
Worked out to about 25-26% of the entire lot for me.
There are airlines and organisations that provide pilot training sponsorship. So, for aspiring pilots you have a couple routes.
1) Apply to your countries Defence force, if you are an EU Passport Holder, you can also apply to many other EU countries.
2) Apply to an Airline that provide Commercial Pilot sponsorship.
3) Self fund your own commercial pilots licence with a flight training organisation.
As for the E-petition, I think it was worth asking, but shame for the Goverments responce. I guess if they did say "Yes, we will grant the student loans like for many other Higher Education course's" Then people who want to become driving instructors, scuba-diving instructors etc etc would also want the same thing to pay for there vocational training