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Talented individuals in aviation help inspire next generation of workers

The government has revealed the names of the next cohort of aviation ambassadors who will engage with young people and help inspire them to pursue a rewarding and successful career in aviation.

Working with the government, the ambassadors will share their skills and experience, particularly with young people and underrepresented groups, to highlight the wide range of opportunities available in the sector.

They will help to raise the profile of aviation, promoting it as an exciting and accessible career, supporting the development and expansion of career pathways, developing outreach activities in communities across the country, and supporting efforts to champion diversity, accessibility and social mobility.

This work is vital to ensuring we have a workforce fit for the future, helping retention and recruitment, and ensuring a sustainable talent pipeline.

Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said:

This year’s cohort of aviation ambassadors yet again shines a light on the enormous talent we have in our world-leading sector.

From champions for women and girls’ opportunities to young people who have already proven themselves to be rising stars in the industry, I look forward to working with our ambassadors to encourage more and more people to consider a career in aviation.

We’ll continue doing everything in our power to support ongoing growth in the sector following the pandemic, nurture fresh talent, and realise a new generation of aviation workers.

This year’s group of inspirational individuals includes 16-year-old Jack Jenner-Hall, the UK’s youngest pilot who qualified as a glider pilot at the age of 14. Jack is passionate about aviation and STEM and is keen to share this passion to inspire people to get involved with the aviation industry and show that anything is possible, whatever your age.

Kanchana Gamage also joins this year’s cohort. As the founder of the Aviatrix Project, Kanchana leads initiatives to encourage women and girls and those from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider a career in aviation and aerospace.

The group also includes Brian Wheeler, who’s was paralysed in May 2018 with a rare condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome and was told it was unlikely he would ever walk again. He not only learnt to walk, he ran a half marathon in 2021 raising money for the disabled flying charity Aerobility, where he is a trustee.

The full group includes:

  • Adel Charles, UK HR Director at dnata UK Ltd
  • Brian Wheeler, NATS Deputy General Manager of Operations
  • Carol Anderson, aviation lawyer, Clyde & Co
  • Daniela Agachi, fuel cell engineer and mentor at ZeroAvia
  • Emma Henderson MBE, CEO of Project Wingman
  • Jack Jenner Hall, glider pilot and aviation advocate
  • Keith Bennett, drone and counter-drone capability lead for West Midlands Police
  • Kanchana Gamage, founder of the Aviatrix Project
  • Kathan Dudhela, the UK’s youngest flight instructor and the world’s youngest flight examiner
  • Katherine Moloney, Director of Transair Flight Equipment
  • Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee, Senior Flight Systems Engineer at BAE Systems
  • Suzy Morgan, captain on the Boeing 777 at British Airways
  • Tetyana Shevchenko, accountable manager, airworthiness coordinator, compliance manager and pilot

Outreach programmes will see the ambassadors inspiring young people by providing practical experience, and engaging with the next generation to help solve current and future challenges faced by the industry.

Importantly, the work of this year’s cohort will showcase the varied job opportunities in aviation, including for those that have worked in aviation roles before and those that haven’t, and including less well known roles that people may not have considered before.

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