European airlines could be missing out on millions of euros in training funds because of the complexity of the rules, a training consultancy’s study has shown.

Last year the European Union made about c1 billion ($1.2 billion) available for companies to train staff, but much of it has gone unclaimed. But the funds are available through about 200 regional funding bodies and there is little central co-ordination, says a report by Italian shipping crew training specialists The Training Company.

Much of the funding is available through the EU’s social cohesion fund, which is aimed at raising skill levels in the poorest areas. Airlines can obtain funding if they hire staff, or offer recurrent training to cabin crew, pilots or ground staff, from such areas. The EU will pay to create jobs in poor regions based on a commitment to employ 80% of graduates who succeed on training courses. The EU funds also cover advertising, interviews and all training.

Language training is available for cabin crew through the EU’s Lingua fund, which promotes multilingual occupations. Project Leonardo pays up to 70% of the cost when citizens of one EU nation are trained in another.

But many airlines that would qualify for funds are unaware of their existence, the study showed. Stephen Murrell, director of The Training Company, says: “Most airlines simply don’t realise these funds are available, or don’t know where to call to get information.”


Source: Flight International