Aviation employment portal launched by UK government

The UK government’s Aviation Skills Retention Platform will aim to preserve essential expertise while addressing the wider skills shortage in the industry.

Aviation safety ground op

A new jobs portal to boost employment and upskill workers in the aviation sector was launched on 4 March 2021 by the UK government

The Aviation Skills Retention Platform is an online skills and recruitment centre specially tailored to find jobs for candidates who currently may be unable to work as a result of the pandemic, or similar roles that match their existing skillset.    

The UK government has partnered with several leading employers – including the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), BAE Systems and Rolls Royce – to offer an initial 2,185 vacancies, with more set to be added every day.    

The scheme will preserve essential expertise while addressing the wider skills shortage in the market, by both supporting those who are currently not working and also nurturing existing skills to lay the foundations for future growth when international travel restarts.

The launch of the jobs portal follows the news that a six-month renewal of the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme has been approved as part of the government’s Budget 2021. The scheme, initially launched in January 2021, supports airports and ground handlers with fixed costs while travel restrictions remain in place.    

The UK’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “We’re supporting our aviation sector by launching an online jobs market to match aviation workers with thousands of vacancies, helping skilled workers regain high value positions across this hugely important sector. At the same time, we’re renewing our scheme to help airports and ground operators with their fixed costs. Grants of up to £4 million will be available, building on the success of the scheme launched in January 2021.” 

“The extension of government-backed loans and furlough payments announced in the Budget build on around £7 billion of support already pledged by government, benefiting the sector since the start of the pandemic. These measures will help to ensure that this vital and vibrant part of the UK economy is ready to bounce back in the wake of the pandemic,” he added.

With air travel likely to be lower than normal over the coming months, the renewal of the support scheme will provide airports with a financial boost through summer 2021 by helping to cover certain fixed costs, including airfield operations, contracted services such as airfield and runway maintenance and business rates bills.   

From May 2021, eligible commercial airports and ground operators will be able to apply for up to £4 million towards their fixed costs between April and September 2021, with payments expected by the end of summer 2021.    

This comes just one week after the UK government announced additional support for the sector, extending the ‘80:20’ slot waiver to provide airlines with much needed flexibility through the summer 2021 months. It also follows the first meeting of the government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which is working to develop a plan for restarting international travel in a safe and sustainable way.  

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