Commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, operator and drone pilot training company, UAV Industries has announced the launch of a free Remote Pilot Licence Training Course exclusively for women.
The Remote Pilot Licence (RPL) is one of the prerequisites for working commercially as a drone pilot under the South African Aviation Authority’s regulatory framework and the free course aims to attract women interested in building a career within unmanned aviation, the company said this week.
Despite the rapid expansion of the drone industry globally and the steady growth in demand for commercial drone services in South Africa, UAV Industries has noted a significant disparity in the number of male versus female students completing their RPL courses. Having trained over 500 RPL students since the opening of their certified flight school in 2016, only 21 (5%) have been female.
“Committed to improving this ratio and to changing the perceptions of the drone industry as being a male-oriented arena, UAV Industries will run the free RPL Training Course in Cape Town, beginning on August 6th with a week of ground school classes, followed by one-to-one practical flying lessons. The course, valued at R26,500 per student, is open to a maximum of 10 women, who will be selected according to a variety of factors, including their CV, motivation and availability to attend and complete the full training. Following successful completion, an internship at the company may be offered, depending on the candidates’ overall competency,” UAV Industries said.
The timing of the course ties in with National Women’s Day on 9th August, as well as the Global Aviation Gender Summit that is being hosted at the CTICC in Cape Town from 8 – 10th August by the South African Aviation Authority (SA CAA), in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and in collaboration with UNESCO. At this summit, attendees will discuss the transformation of gender inequality within aviation, touching on cultural, educational and professional barriers and enablers, as well as leadership and innovation.
Head of Training, Ken Venn, said, “The fact that there is such a high ratio of men to women working within the commercial drone industry is not due to any logistical barriers to entry imposed on female job seekers. Environmental and social bias such as stereotyping and gender bias remain primarily responsible for the low number of women globally who pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). UAV Industries believes that unmanned aviation offers a challenging and rewarding work environment for both sexes and is committed to actively encouraging and supporting #WomenInDrones through ongoing training programmes and internship opportunities.”
To apply for the free woman’s RPL Training Course in August 2018, applicants should send their CV and motivational letter to [email protected]