EPST has teamed with Nyenrode Business Universiteit to develop a training module to counter the problem of young pilots’ lack of management experience

Many young pilots enter the airline industry with little understanding or practical experience of the role of management and backroom staff, says Dick Verburg, managing director of European Pilot Selection & Training (EPST).

To counter the problem, EPST has teamed up with Nyenrode Business Universiteit to develop a two-week basic management training (BMT) module, which will form part of its training programmes from next month.

“Lack of management experience comes about because pilots spend most of their time in the cockpit rather than in an office environment,” Verburg says. “Those starting pilot training at a reasonably young age and then going into an airline may have very little experience of what the management team consists of, what their responsibilities are, how they relate to the running of the company, and the importance of the back office in enabling them to be able to do their job as pilots.

“This means that, for example, they might not know how to push an idea within management. We decided that giving pilots an element of management training would be beneficial to pilots and to the airline industry,” he says.

Approximately 22 people who are either about to start EPST training, or who have recently completed it, will take part in the course that will be based at Nyenrode Business Universiteit in Breukelen, the Netherlands. As well as lectures, the training will incorporate a simulation that will give students experience of elements of running an airline such as costs and scheduling.

“The course will provide an overview of the various functions and responsibilities within a normal airline environment. This will ensure that the EPST pilots have a better insight and the associated respect for the management activities within airline companies,” Verburg says.

The two companies are also in the process of finalising the syllabus of a management development programme for pilots who are about to become captains or those who are interested in assuming a management position within an airline company. This will take the form of a part-time modular course and will be open to candidates from all airlines.

“The main objective is to give pilots more management responsibility experience and more appreciation of what management can do for them,” Verburg says. “We are always looking for ways to improve what we do. We are not just training people to get their pilot’s licence, we are training them to try and fulfil the needs of the airline industry as they exist today, and for the future.”


Source: Flight International