SCOTLAND’s first aviation apprenticeship scheme is now accepting applications from young people in a field that could see them earning more than £40,000 a year in their early 20s.

Loganair established the scheme, which was unveiled by Transport Minister Humza Yousaf last year, aimed at school leavers seeking a career in engineering or aviation.

There are six vacancies for the four-year, full-time, 40 hours per-week course, which will be based in Glasgow for the first year. Apprentices will then be given the option to transfer to either Aberdeen or Kirkwall and will receive a salary of £13,000.

The apprenticeships are intended to meet the needs of Scotland’s aviation industry and will create an MA in aircraft maintenance that will satisfy the requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Apprentices’ daily tasks will vary depending on their specialism but could see them applying the principles of science and technology to maintain aircraft, supervising the assembly of airframes and the installation of engines, instruments and other equipment.

They could also take part in flight-test programmes to measure take-off distances, rate of climb manoeuvrability and landing capacities, resolve issues that arise during the testing processes and maintain aircraft for full operation, including regular inspection work, repairs and servicing.

Measuring and improving the performance of aircraft, components and systems will also play a part in their work, along with collating information, interpreting data and publishing the results of projects in technical report form, before communicating technical and regulatory advice to clients, teams, suppliers and others in the aerospace industry.

The scheme will also address the sector’s shortage of qualified engineers and ensure that its historic reliance on trained engineers leaving the armed forces is significantly reduced, a prudent step considering the reduced scale of armed forces personnel training today.

Loganair has developed from its modest beginnings in 1962 into a well-known regional commuter airline with a large network of scheduled services and is one of the UK’s longest established airlines. Known as Scotland’s airline, it is leading the apprenticeship scheme, supported by partners from the industry and from education, as well as by Transport Scotland.

Once they qualify after completing the four-year course and in their early 20s, graduates will be eligible to receive salaries of more than £40,000.

Barry Stone, Loganair’s director of engineering, said: “We’re really impressed by the level of interest we’ve already received, testament to the opportunity which this course presents to young people.

“With the choice of three different geographical bases, a £13,000 a year salary and a qualification which is valid across Europe – this is an excellent route to employment for anyone keen to get into aviation maintenance. We’re pleased to be working in partnership with a number of organisations to deliver the course, which is a first for Scotland.

“This is even more significant during the Year of the Young Person as this initiative is designed to develop the workforce of tomorrow.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting the successful candidates and would also be keen to hear from prospective engineers from across the Highlands and Islands.”