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50% of applicants aren't employable....

Old 15th Mar 2018, 21:23
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50% of applicants aren't employable....

The above stat is getting widely reported, even more so from the output of integrated schools and it mostly seems to stem from the self-selection and ATO's being happy to take the cash but provide the minimum required training. The industry seems to have created it's own issue and though there are many applicants, seemingly only half are suitable. I've certainly met a good few in training who could probably do with some experience in the real world to round their character and produce some soft skills. What are peoples thoughts on this and are there any concerns or strategies of redress out there?
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 21:56
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Originally Posted by Desert Strip Basher View Post
The above stat is getting widely reported, even more so from the output of integrated schools and it mostly seems to stem from the self-selection and ATO's being happy to take the cash but provide the minimum required training. The industry seems to have created it's own issue and though there are many applicants, seemingly only half are suitable.
What is your source for this 'stat'? I've certainly never come across it.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:06
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As someone from an integrated school, I can sort of comprehend what's being said. I'm somewhat older than most integrated students, and had further education and a career before signing-up so (i'm not just saying it), but I'm very different to the typical integrated student.

In my experience, I would say 70% of the people I know are or were straight into flight training from school. I.e straight from A-Levels onto an integrated course, at age 18 or 19. Maybe 1 in 5 went to University, and then straight onto an integrated course. The biggest proportion of students are definitely those straight from sixth form or European equivalent into flight school, without further education or the experience of an actual proper job. For three quarters of the people I trained with, their first ever job interview would have been for an airline as a first or second officer.

The average age of an integrated course is very young. I would be interested to know what it actually is, but I was the third oldest on the course of twenty people at the age of 23, so that explains a lot. The majority were 19 as far as I can remember. "Unemployable" is not the word, but "limited life experience definitely" is.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:31
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Rottweiler, I hear you, and DSB; I don't disagree with the sentiment. But you can't go around claiming opinions as fact, particularly if they're based purely on anecdotal evidence.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:36
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Not fact but you have to read Andy O'Shea's statement as "50% are fundamentally unemployable by Ryanair's standards" and there is no doubt that employment standards vary across the industry.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:45
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Originally Posted by Desert Strip Basher View Post
Not fact but you have to read Andy O'Shea's statement as "50% are fundamentally unemployable by Ryanair's standards" and there is no doubt that employment standards vary across the industry.
The only reference I can find to this 'statement' is the earlier post on PPRuNe that you just copied and pasted. That aside, I wouldn't consider one piece of hearsay 'widely reported'.

I think you're trolling And for that reason, I'm out.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:26
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Maturity is one of the critical ingredients for any professional pilot.

Those straight from school are probably at a disadvantage compared to those who have either engaged in higher education, or gain work experience.

You do get a young person straight from school who are sufficiently mature, although it is fairly rare.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:30
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Its a statement Andy O'Shea, Ryanair's Head of Training, has repeatedly made in public, in fact one of two. The second is that as far as he is concerned there is no difference in quality of applicants between integrated students and modular. The 50% claim is usually followed by an admonition to the training industry about their claimed attempts at 'selection', because by his standards it is completely ineffective, 'selected' integrated students being indistinguishable from not selected modular students.

In common with many airlines Ryanair select and train to competency based standards, AFAIK no ATO trains to competency based standards at the ab-initio stage, so a disconnect in standards seems inevitable.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:35
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History says otherwise

The corporations recruited mainly A level students for Hamble.. criteria was to be 18 when the course was finished. I was one of the older ones at 20.. the youngest retired last year after 46 years flying for BA. Those in their 20s had more problems than the teens. In those days you couldn't get into a major over 26, the exception was Swissair and that was 29 with significant experience. It's about selection and training. In gliding its a function of age to calculate rough solo time. The younger the better.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:49
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Originally Posted by blind pew View Post
The corporations recruited mainly A level students for Hamble.. criteria was to be 18 when the course was finished. I was one of the older ones at 20.. the youngest retired last year after 46 years flying for BA. Those in their 20s had more problems than the teens. In those days you couldn't get into a major over 26, the exception was Swissair and that was 29 with significant experience. It's about selection and training. In gliding its a function of age to calculate rough solo time. The younger the better.

I can't argue with what has gone and it can be assumed that effective selection and training would be successful. But linked to the current market, 'selection'
has been replaced by the thickness of wallet, and 'training' has been reduced to the core flight exercises as it isn't in FTO's interests to deliver any more than that.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 15:39
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I would say that age isn't necessarily an issue, but the level of maturity and the life skills that come with age are. As mentioned previously, the majority of those I trained with on an integrated course were under 20 years old, had no further education and or never had a job. On the flight deck, the young and old tended to perform the same. Results were similar, and flying performance was dependant on ability, rather than age. So flight school performance was pretty much the same.

However, there was a world of difference when it came to what went on outside of the cockpit. The slightly older ones could stand on their own two feet, make their own decisions, and tackle their own problems.

The younger bunch were much more irresponsible, made rash decisions, and you could say were a lot more socially awkward. A lot had quite passive personalities, and only seemed to speak up when they had no other option. An older student would knock on the CFI's door and talk face-to-face about a problem. The younger ones would e-mail them, or get their parents to do it. Jokes aside, there were integrated students who used to get Mum and Dad involved when things weren't going their way. The younger ones seemed to have much less real-world knowledge, and had unrealistic expectations about what was going to happen. For example, thinking they'd be hired by British Airways or Etihad straight from flight school. Just generally lacking the life-skills and view on reality you get from the real world of work. This is a generalisation, but I assure you that the bulk of integrated schools are full of students like this.

From my experience, I can partly comprehend that 50% of integrated graduates aren't suited to airline work. Mainly due to the high proportion of very young and green graduate pilots, without the life experience gained from ever having a job or further education. Lack of maturity is definitely an issue.

But, as of late I've heard that the youngest integrated graduates (19 or 20 years old) are having much more trouble finding jobs. And around two years ago I was told by a recruiter that an airline job becomes extremely hard to find if you're over 30 years old. So in my experience I would agree that it's a young man's game at the moment, with mid-20s being the peak age.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 19:00
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I could talk about this all day.

I'm an MCCi and TKI and instruct at several ATOs.

The students I see have an incredibly wide range of skills, knowledge and attitudes. Literally incredible, as in I have difficulty believing that some of these people have ever sat in an aircraft (no scan, no R/T, multiple basic handling errors, no knowledge) while at the other end of the scale some of them you'd think already had 6 months on the line.

This suggests systemic problems in training and examination standards.

Yes, it's anecdotal, but based on the cohort of students I've seen (trained at many different ATOs) then if it was down to me to dole out jobs at airlines the breakdown is something like this:

10% just terrible. No chance of passing a selection or a type rating course, and fundamentally untrainable. (how did this person pass an IR?). Recommendation: Give up.
40% to varying degrees with serious gaps in capability. Far too much of a training risk to be given a job (if my neck was on the block over it) BUT trainable. With proper remedial training could be brought up to a reasonable standard given enough time.
35% pretty reasonable. Trainable albeit with a few weaknesses. Slight risk, but ought to be ok on a type rating with decent training support.
10% Good. Shouldn't be any training risk at all.
5% Excellent. Forget the type rating, I'd fly the line with this person right now.

Age is much less of a factor than previous quality of training.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 19:38
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It is not that at all.

There is a proportion of people who may not be.

There are lack of decent instructors / trainers in airlines that are able to train. Too many so called pilots who have no ability to instruct then become and provide substandard training...

but its the pupil then is blamed.

Inherent problems in the airlines
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 00:25
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The notion that younger people will always tend to pick up skills quicker is not necessarily true in my opinion. Where I work in another industry we have ab-initio fifty year olds out performing people in their twenties and thirties. Quite a few of the older folk have a phenomenal attitude to work and this more than carries them through. I really feel that the airlines are missing out here. In the 30s-50s age range you can find ex-NCOs, ex-emergency services and all sorts of other people with tremendous amounts of life experience doing sfaety-critical stuff.

Also, in my line of work we have very thorough aptitude tests which you can only fail once in your life, fail twice and you cannot apply again. Historically the failure rate in these tests was approximately 90%. That is another thing the airline world could learn from I think. It's not fail-safe but it would be a good start.

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Old 17th Mar 2018, 11:25
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With your description of how good Hamble students were you have not mentioned the very thorough selection process they had to go through to be accepted to Hamble back then. As mentioned by others, for a lot of students today, this selection process is VERY superficial, basically to quote Major Bloodnok:-

"Now take the Regimental oath... Open your wallets and say after me 'Help yourself'".
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 11:42
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Rottweiler22;

I would think it is because the people who their careers to pursue flying have more motivation to 'make it' in the industry, as they have taken quite a bit of risk to leave everything behind and pursue something which may not eventuate in the end.

Compared to some kid who has his flying paid for and is just interested in the glamour of flying.

As my instructor used to tell me, everyone can fly given enough time to a PPL or even a CPL standard. But beyond that, not everyone has the ability to do it.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 11:54
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Originally Posted by Capt Pit Bull View Post
10% just terrible. No chance of passing a selection or a type rating course, and fundamentally untrainable. (how did this person pass an IR?). Recommendation: Give up.
40% to varying degrees with serious gaps in capability. Far too much of a training risk to be given a job (if my neck was on the block over it) BUT trainable. With proper remedial training could be brought up to a reasonable standard given enough time.
35% pretty reasonable. Trainable albeit with a few weaknesses. Slight risk, but ought to be ok on a type rating with decent training support.
10% Good. Shouldn't be any training risk at all.
5% Excellent. Forget the type rating, I'd fly the line with this person right now.

Age is much less of a factor than previous quality of training.
Iíd have to agree with you wholeheartedly.
In my years of instructing I came to a similar conclusion.
3 out of a 100 canít be dragged through a Private pilot course. At least not by me. 3% of the population cannot learn how to fly. They lack mechanical aptitude and a general lack of intuition. These are also the people that canít use a screwdriver, hire somebody to change a lightbulb and are generally not very good with anything that involves motion. Be a motorbike or a car or a boat.
Interestingly enough, these tend to be very brainy people, very booksmart.

Then thereís the 3/100 that are naturally gifted intuitive with being in motion. You show them and they basically teach themselves with guidance. Not a garantee for success as some get lazy, donít study and fail academics. Iíve seen a kid dumb as a box of rocks and simply gifted in the airplane. Very intuitive and his landings were better than mine.
Never finished his Private as he failed his written test 5 times then never came back. Parents blamed us as ĎJohnny wanted to be a pilotí.

The remaining 94% are a sliding scale between very mediocre to very good and all shades in between.
Nurture and nature.
Shy and insecure students that solo late can blossom and turn out great.
The initially better too cocky students generally need a reality check somewhere along the line. Usually a failed exam.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 13:24
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Chop rate

We were kept in line by a high chop rate..33% on my course..I had three chop flights and eventually got through and although I was third on my course the insecurity and lack of confidence stayed with me as it did with many others. You could add to that the non socialising with instructors, being watched most of the time and the stories of the security services presence.
So it wasnít that simple. Several of those chopped went on to be wide bodied captains.
The bullying was worse in the airline and a some left especially from BEA where the accident rate mirrored the poor instruction. 8 hull loses in my 6 years. The stories from the BOAC cadets with the Atlantic barons still shock me.
For me it was the dream of flying and sticking the industry out to attain the dream. I was very lucky to get on the experiment of putting BEA copilots straight into the RHS of a BOAC aircraft..the VC 10 ..an absolute dream job and mainly good instructors, most were from the first Hamble course, although I had one for a repeat base training detail after I failed a check who should have recognised my problem and didnít.
I left to fly for the Swiss and can honestly say money was no object which left BA in the shadows especially in the training department.
Unlike my time at Hamble and in BEA where I was permanently skint, SR paid cadets a proper salary as they did to new entrants. They also equalised rosters so that the managers and trainers did their fair share of the work and we got a taste of the cream...motivation is about the whole package.

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Old 18th Mar 2018, 09:11
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Capt Pit Bull (16/3/18) analysed the ability of junior birdmen aspiring to be professional pilots, describing what looks similar to a standard deviation curve.

So if any old Tom, Dick or Harry is allowed to train, the outcome is going to produce such a spread. No formal selection, just the ability to finance the initial training phase.
And of course the unethical ATO unwilling to chop the "no hopers" who struggle throughout the course and achieve a marginal pass with significant extra training. Determination YES; advisable QUESTIONABLE.

Added to that aircraft such as the DA42 are used. They are perfect ac for PPL/IR schools where they are training the weekend flyers, but I would question whether they are entirely suitable for bringing out the qualities necessary for a professional pilot. They are simply too easy to operate; the very marginal trainee will succeed, only to be bitterly disappointed later downstream.
I do appreciate how difficult it can be to ask the question. But training progress against minimum course hours is clue for the customer.

So having passed the light ac skill tests comes the MCC course. The proposed EASA 'APS MCC' will integrate the JOC element into the course and will indicate to the junior birdmen whether they are the right stuff; or have they been wasting their money.
There is a strong correlation in assessing ability between the training for CPL/IR issue and the MCC/JOC phase.

Difficult decisions to be made by the aspiring professional pilot with marginal ability.....
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 10:52
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TBH Parkfell I don't think it is necessarily a standard deviation of the students.

A lot of it is hugely influenced by quality of instruction. The flight training industry is largely inhabited by self selected instructors. Commercial considerations currently preclude most organisations from having a comprehensive standardisation effort.

I keep encountering students who aren't stupid and are trainable but who have massive gaps in knowledge. Or worst of all, have been told that what they are learning is "90% bullcrap".

And when you get a student who has just passed an IR but doesn't have a scan that includes heading, or doesn't know which way to turn to track an RMI, or who never seems to consider wind and drift, then there is something seriously wrong with the system.
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