The aeronautic industry is the key driver of European competitiveness, playing a fundamental role in facilitating economic growth and social inclusion, providing revenues to otherwise isolated regions and helping people to enlarge their horizons. However, the unprecedented economic crisis has posed several relevant challenges that affect European competitiveness, performance and sustainability. Europe is also assisting a main demographic development characterised by an ageing population and also declining of younger age groups.
In this context, shortage of qualified personnel may affect the aeronautic sector in the future, unless there is a joint effort to attract young Europeans to future careers in the field of Aeronautics.
The main aim of the FLY HIGHER project is to attract, motivate and encourage young Europeans to embrace future careers in the field of Aeronautics by raising awareness of young people about future career paths in aeronautics.The project will promote a wide range of well-balanced activities, the FLY HIGHER MISSION Pathway to Success, intent to reach three different target groups children and youth; teachers and educators; counsellors and Career Advisors.
A wide programme of EDUTAINMENT activities includes hands-on experiments; games and simulations, visits, workshops, competitions, science cafes, training for teachers and career advisers, speed-dating, organisation of the AIR DAY, STEM tutorial and career kits will promote the establishment of a closer dialogue and allowing a direct contact on a friendly, informal and fun environment between children and youth, parents, school community, universities, industry and several aeronautic key stakeholders.
With the project at least 20 000 participants are expected to be involved, more than 500 000 people are estimated to be aware of the programme of activities and at least 1 500 researchers and aeronautic professionals are expected to be directly involved in the delivery of the activities.
Nurturing tomorrow's aeronautics professionals
If Europe wants an outstanding aeronautics industry, it must attract young talent. An EU initiative created inspiring activities for students, teachers, counsellors and career advisors.
The aeronautics industry plays a key role in social and technological development, yet it has suffered a downturn since the 2008 financial crisis. For the sector to thrive, it requires long-term nurturing of suitable talent.
Funded by the EU, the project ' FLY HIGHER - Shaping the new evolving generation of aeronautic professionals' (http://www.flyhigher.eu/ (FLY HIGHER)) aimed to make aeronautics an attractive proposition by developing strategies to attract, motivate and encourage young people to join the field of aeronautics.
To help achieve this, the project fostered dialogue among the research community, industry and schools. Specifically, it delivered various edutainment activities aimed at young people, teachers and career counsellors. These include Science Cafés for teachers and counsellors, drawing, photography, essay and trivia competitions, virtual events, and field trips to airports and air museums.
The project implemented a tailored programme of activities entitled 'Dream it, Explore it, Learn it and Get it!'. 'Dream it! Get it!' aimed to give children and youth the opportunity to engage in fun activities about aeronautics.
'Dream it! Learn it!' was intended to provide teachers with tools such as career kits and aeronautics career profiles. It also provided support to career advisors, enabling them to emphasise the importance of and interest in aeronautics careers. Five science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) tutorials were designed for classroom use and made available in Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.
'Dream it! Explore it!' was designed to provide counsellors and career advisors with access to new vocational orientation tools and practices. The goal is to explore future career paths in aeronautics and tackle constraints in teaching STEM subjects.
By raising the interest of young Europeans, FLY HIGHER encouraged them to embrace aeronautics. The project expects to play a part in shaping tomorrow's key players in the aeronautics industry, from air traffic controllers to cockpit design engineers.