Year 11 pupil Isabella, known as Izzie, has already achieved a lift-off on her future career plans by securing a coveted place on the Fantasy Wings programme.

Fantasy Wings is a programme of career development for those looking to pursue a career as an airline pilot or elsewhere within the aviation industry.  With only 4% of those currently in the industry being women, and 7% from a BAME background, the programme is designed to widen aviation opportunities and increase diversity.

The programme focuses on real-life experiences, skills development and networking opportunities.  With the aviation industry notoriously difficult to get into, young people are given a helping hand and understanding of all of the different pathways open to them. 

Budding pilots like Izzie attend monthly Saturday sessions where they are given lectures and insights into the industry, as well as being mentored by those already in the industry.  At the end of the programme there are also a number of flight training scholarships available, enabling young people to gain their pilot’s licence.

Izzie, who attends the monthly sessions in Birmingham, where she is one of 24 young people on the programme, explained: “Being a pilot is a very renowned and rewarding job; when I was thinking about my career I didn’t want to be stuck in an office, but I thought why not have an office that I can fly in!

“I’d like to finish my GCSEs and A Levels and then apply to join a flight school.  I think this programme will definitely help me get a job as what it covers is so much part of what I would need to know and lots of people have already entered the industry through it too.

“Fantasy Wings is an amazing and interesting opportunity, especially because you hear from lots of people and you learn about their stories and all the different job roles in aviation. It is definitely something people should look for!” 

Opportunities for early career development are regularly presented to Kingsbury Green Academy pupils through their extensive careers programme, run by Cath Young, Careers Leader.

Cath explained: “Thinking about the career path you want to pursue when you’re still at school can be daunting, so our aim is to give our pupils as many opportunities and insights as possible so that they can find out what interests them.  We have a steady stream of great opportunities throughout the year, like Fantasy Wings, that pupils can apply for and get ahead of the competition when they’re ready to start their careers.

“Our careers programme regularly brings potential employers together with pupils, whether that’s for them to learn about jobs or to help them develop the skills they’ll need to secure their dream jobs and excel in the workplace.”

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