The Qantas Group is encouraging diversity and inclusion in its talent base by providing 50 scholarships to female and Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) students in its Pilot Academy program.
According to Qantas, each scholarship is worth up to AU 30,000 ($20,000) and covers accommodation at the academy, meals and utilities. Tuition fees are additional.
Based in Toowoomba, Queensland, at Wellcamp Airport, the Qantas Group Pilot Academy was launched in 2020 and aims to build a long-term talent pipeline for Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar.
The group expects to increase its pilot numbers by 1,600 over the next decade as it continues to grow and launch new flights.
“When we launched the Pilot Academy, we said we wanted to tap into a broader, more diverse talent base and through our scholarship program we’re encouraging more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and women to pursue a career in aviation,” QantasLink CEO John Gissing said in a statement.
“We know that we’re going to need to draw from a wider pool of talent than we have traditionally if we’re going to meet that demand for pilots, both for us and the broader industry,” Gissing continued.
Gissing added: “While we’re slightly above the global average in terms of female pilots, we know we still have a lot of work to do. Doubling the size of our scholarship program will help encourage more women and First Nations students to take the first step towards their career as an aviator.”
After completing the 12-month training program, graduates of the academy will hold three qualifications including a Commercial Pilot Licence, ready to commence a career in commercial or general aviation. Graduates will join the Group’s pilot talent pool and have access to opportunities with partner airlines.
Globally, around 5% of commercial airline pilots are women, with Qantas slightly higher at more than 7%.
Applications for the Academy’s latest intake are now open, and potential scholarship holders are encouraged to apply by submitting a written application.