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Perhaps the most enduring achievement of the Air League has been the foundation of the Air Cadet Corps back in 1938 – now known as the RAF Air Cadets – which recently celebrated their 75th Anniversary.

The Aviation and Aerospace industries offer exciting, challenging and rewarding career opportunities for young people and there are a variety of roots into the industry regardless of an individual’s social or economic background. The Air League can help careers take off through its outreach programmes, which provide career advice and practical experiences such as scholarships, bursaries and educational support in schools and universities. The organisation has throughout its 110 year history been contributing to the health of the Aviation and Aerospace industries and the economic success of the UK, through its inspiring programmes.


The key mechanism through which the Air League supports the development of the talent pipeline within aviation and aerospace is through its scholarships programme. We are able to offer many young applicants between the ages of 14 and 25 the opportunity to train to fly, and also to access careers in the aviation and aerospace industries.

A standard flying scholarship (glider/helicopter/fixed wing) is intended to take the trainee to solo level, or to assist him or her in completing their basic training, which is a great personal achievement in itself. The charity funds over 100 awards annually, including some 36 flying scholarships. These include The Prince Philip Flying Scholarship, and various sponsored bursaries and scholarships. We also offer engineering and space scholarships and are extending our programme with a number of new partner companies and universities.


We work with people from disadvantaged areas across the UK to inspire and show young people what they are capable of achieving. The organisation provides over 50 scholarships each year to the disabled, disabled veterans/serving personnel and inner city communities, with the programme covering flying training and gliding scholarships. Over the past decade more than £2 million of scholarships for young, as well as, the disabled and veterans has been delivered.

Each year several hundred potential scholarship and bursary candidates have the opportunity to benefit from our ‘Taster Days,’ which provide an introduction to flying and assess pilot aptitude. This is a mix of safety, airmanship, principles of flight and handling instruction as well as a flying.

Aviation is an inspiring industry which has brought the world closer together and it evokes pioneering spirit and adventure. The Air League believes that the experiences it provides genuinely transform lives and the organisation is always aiming to introduce innovative ways to extend its outreach into new communities.  In June 2019 it launched the Soaring to Success programme which provided young people from 8 schools in Barnsley with the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops and presentations. Soaring to Success is an inspirational programme which is the largest scale activity of its type. Our pilot project in 2019 saw around 600 students in Barnsley introduced to aviation and aerospace through a series of modules delivered by the Air League and industry partners including BA, DHL and Rolls-Royce. The modules included an introduction to the industry, an employability skills workshop, an introduction to jet engines followed by a competition to build a model engine. DHL provided a briefing on pilot careers from a cargo airline perspective and BA and the Air League presented the ‘Build an Airline’ challenge. This programme had a tremendous impact on the young people taking part, with 73% believing as a result of the engagement, that a career in aviation and aerospace is accessible to them and something they would now consider as a future career option. 

Help change young lives through aviation