Brexit has created upheaval and uncertainty in virtually every sector, every field, and every profession since the EU referendum result. For work that relies on smooth movement between countries, Brexit is even more of a hinderance, as the UK and Europe struggle to reach a coherent agreement that satisfies both parties.
Brexit has already begun to impact the Aerospace & Aviation industry. A central point that must be resolved is whether aircraft engineers (worth £30 billion to the UK economy) will be able to work on aircraft in EASA states with a CAA part-66 license post-Brexit.
A recent announcement from the UK government concerning changes in how aircraft engineering licenses will work suggests that the government intends to keep the licenses valid during the transitional period, but does not expect them to remain so after the UK’s official exit.
Previously it has been stated that some ‘purely cosmetic’ changes may have to be made to existing licenses, with no real legislative change disrupting engineers’ lives. Without a compromise or agreement on Part-66 licenses, the Aerospace & Aviation sector may need to implement a new system for graduates who studied before the referendum, or for UK graduates who simply want the option to work in EASA states. While London was previously one of the most attractive and best-connected hubs for the sector, the latest EASA development could force London-based Aerospace & Aviation businesses to re-examine their hiring strategies.
If EASA disputes the license’s validity before the EU exit point, Brexit could that anyone who has studied in the UK and earned their part-66 license through the CAA may find themselves at a disadvantage when looking for work abroad in EASA states, even if they are natives of that state themselves. What’s more, recruiters may see candidates without EASA-equivalent licenses as extra work, making for a more strenuous and complicated recruitment process, which may mean they’re passed over for roles they are otherwise perfectly suited for.
By 2020, seven million people are predicted to be employed in aircraft engineering and serving three billion airline passengers single year. While the impact of Brexit upon aircraft engineers and Part-66 licenses is a temporary issue that will likely be swiftly resolved, the changes are still something for new engineers to keep in mind.
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