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Posted 15 February 2021 · Add Comment

The British Business Aviation Association (BBGA) is proud to be the first aviation industry association actively supporting the new UK Government-backed Aviation Skills Retention Platform (ASRP).

Above: (left) Embraer Legacy 500 flight deck; (right) Cirrus maintenance at Guernsey Airport.
Courtesy of BBGA member, Air Charter Scotland  / 
Courtesy of BBGA member, ASG.

The platform was launched for industry registrations on Wednesday, 10 February by the Aviation Minister, Robert Courts MP, during a webinar hosted by Department for Transport Aviation Ambassador Jo Salter. Several dozen key sector representatives attended to learn more about the platform and how it will support the retention of skills across the sector.

The Minister for Aviation spoke passionately about the importance of retaining and supporting the UK’s highly talented workforce. He called on industry organisations, and adjacent industries, to share as many vacancies and opportunities on the platform as they can and stressed the need to avoid an exodus of talent.

BBGA’s involvement follows a number of meetings conducted on Microsoft Teams with representatives of ASRP and the former aviation minister during the summer and winter lockdowns as it helped to help shape the proposition.

Marc Bailey, CEO of the BBGA said: “Our interest is in helping so many colleagues who are sadly out of work as a result of this devasting pandemic.  The whole landscape of aviation has changed inside a year, which has forced employers to make cuts in both operations and personnel.  Business aviation has not been immune from job losses either, but we do believe our sector has the resilience to bounce back first.

“Working with the full engagement of our Board and Working Groups, BBGA is hopeful we can redeploy redundant staff to SME’s in business aviation via the platform.”

“Our collaboration on the ASRP, working with Talent Retention Solutions (TRS) underpins the value of BBGA as the primary association and voice in general and business aviation now that we have exited the EU and EASA,” he added.

Terry Scuoler CBE, Talent Retention Solutions Chairman commented: “The airline and aviation sectors are key to our nation’s economy and sense of well-being.   We are therefore delighted to support and be part of the Government’s Aviation Skills Retention Programme, aimed at safeguarding employment and aiding the post Covid recovery.”

“Credit must go the to the Aviation Minister, Robert Courts and his officials for securing financial support at such a critical time and to those organisations such as the BBGA and others who have worked hard to ensure the future of both sectors,” he added.

“If we are lucky, then perhaps 15-20% of jobs may be directed to SME’s through this channel,” Marc Bailey suggested. “People can also be redeployed into complementary industries so that they retain their skills and their interest in aviation. It is vital that we retain contact with colleagues via this innovative resource so that further down the recovery path we can encourage a return to aviation as the market slowly returns.”

Immediate scenarios, for example, may see a displaced pilot able to move from commercial airline to retrain and work on the flight operations side of drones.

The 2021 Aviation Skills Retention Platform was developed by Talent Retention Solutions and is funded by the government and supported by UK businesses.  Backed by business associations, member companies, professional institutions and unions, it facilitates the deployment, development and secondment of individuals through internal and external frameworks.  Through its simple to use online platform it marries talented specialist employees in with suitable roles.

ASRP will help all of those in aviation – not just pilots, cabin crew and flight engineers, but individuals working in airports, air traffic, handling and FBO, ground operations, MRO and airworthiness.

The seeds of this concept were first conceived by Talent Retention Solutions working  with the Defence and Aerospace Industry and took root after 9/11. Rolls-Royce, followed by other blue chip companies including BAE Systems, were swift to galvanise an industry shocked to its core. Starting in the Midlands, there followed the creation of regional development agencies all over the UK.

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