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East Anglia Future 50

Body behind Norwich's aviation academy says collaboration will be key in training sector's future talent

PUBLISHED: 18:21 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:21 23 January 2018

The Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP), the organisation behind Norwich's International Aviation Academy, has launched its vision for the future of training in the industry. Pictured (L-R) are Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, ASP ambassador Anna McGrady and ASP founder and chief executive Simon Witts. Picture: John Goodman

The Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP), the organisation behind Norwich's International Aviation Academy, has launched its vision for the future of training in the industry. Pictured (L-R) are Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, ASP ambassador Anna McGrady and ASP founder and chief executive Simon Witts. Picture: John Goodman

John Goodman

The aviation industry must pull together to secure its future and provide pathways for the next generation of talent.

This is the view of the organisation behind Norwich’s International Aviation Academy as it lays out its vision for training the sector’s future professionals.

The Aviation Skills Partnership (ASP) presented the plans at its annual aviation skills manifesto update at the House of Commons, which was co-hosted by Norwich North MP Chloe Smith.

Addressing an audience of industry influencers, business leaders, trainers and academics, ASP founder and chief executive Simon Witts said the sector had to work harder to translate the widespread “fascination with aviation” into careers.

“There is a whole pool of talent out there, but the onus is on us to make our industry accessible to the right people by providing the right infrastructure at a local, regional, national and international level,” he said.

“Working together with airlines, operators, universities, colleges, schools and training providers we are determined to provide the well-trained workforce of the future that the UK and international aviation industry so desperately needs and deserves.”

ASP works with partners across the UK to train pilots, air traffic controllers, engineers, airport operations staff and cabin crew. It opened its first International Aviation Academy in Norwich last year, developed with Norse Group, Norfolk County Council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Ms Smith, who opened the event, said the presence of the academy in the city served as a reminder “that Norwich’s industrial past, present and future remain strong and exciting. I’m immensely proud to support the aviation skills manifesto and pleased to have helped bring about the first-ever International Aviation Academy in my constituency.

“It’s a unique learning environment, which not only provides a great training facility for the next generation of aviation professionals, but will encourage jobs and underlines Norwich’s importance to the national and regional economy,” she said.

The audience also heard from ASP Ambassador and A320 pilot, Anna McGrady – one of the first ASP trainees to graduate as a professional pilot.

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