Okanagan College opens its doors to showcase high flying options at Career Fair
A global shortage of commercial pilots, which made headlines in Kelowna earlier this month after local flights were cancelled, has created an even more urgent need for industry professionals to spread awareness of the opportunities that exist in aviation.
Southern Interior Flight Centre (SIFC) will be doing just that as one of more than 50 employers showcasing careers and educational pathways at Okanagan College’s Career Fair on Sunday, Nov. 5.
Representatives from Southern Interior Flight Centre, Okanagan College's long term aviation training partner, will be at the College’s Kelowna campus all day on Sunday to spread their passion for aviation with would-be pilots.
“The need for commercial pilots has reached an unprecedented level—not just nationally, but globally,” says Marc Vanderaegen, Flight School Director. “We’ve been training pilots through the Okanagan College Commercial Aviation diploma program for more than 27 years and have certainly seen ebbs and flows but we have never witnessed a need as great as the demand that exists right now.”
Students who take the commercial aviation program, which is a partnership between SIFC and Okanagan College, earn a Transport Canada licence, making them highly sought-after around the world.
“There are far fewer barriers to becoming a commercial pilot these days,” says Vanderaegen. “A student who enters the program can reach a major airline as a junior first officer immediately after graduation, through various industry partnerships, a pathway which used to take closer to a decade in the previous labour market. There are also opportunities for students to access financial and employment awards which makes taking the training much more achievable.”
Vanderaegen encourages anyone who has an interest in pursuing a career in aviation to attend Career Fair on Sunday. The College’s campus facilities will be open, including the program’s flight simulator.
“Our staff will be at Career Fair and can answer questions, provide advice, and even help people make their first big landing in the flight simulator,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to find out whether or not the program is a fit.”