Will Brexit encourage transport training

(From left)  Simon Watton with Gary Ellson
(From left) Simon Watton with Gary Ellson

They may work with different modes of transport but the bosses of Bournemouth International Airport based Bliss Aviation and Ferndown Industrial Estate based Wayside Transport Ltd find that their hopes and requirements for life after Brexit are very similar. 

Both businesses make the majority of their turnover from training people to either learn to fly or to professionally drive heavy goods vehicles for a living.  Both Bliss Aviation’s Chief Executive and a helicopter flying instructor Gary Ellson and Simon Watton Training Director who founded Wayside Transport in 1998 train people to work in an international environment beyond Europe.

Neither expects much change to the demands of the training levels other than the rules and regulations converting to UK legislation as the need for the smooth movement across boarders will be essential to be able to operate competitively and efficiently.

“There is currently a shortage and demand for more HGV drivers in the UK,” said Simon Watton.  “This I expect will remain high, with or without the eastern European’s continuing to train with UK based business like ours.  I do not expect to see the UK reduce the training requirements, especially the health and safety aspects covered by the CPC certification requirement for professional HGV and Bus/coach drivers.”

Gary anticipates that the requirements to fly within international airspace will have to keep pace with Europe or there will be restrictions.  Legislation on the use of different designs of aircraft can vary between countries but when it comes to flying commercially, the rules are internationally agreed.

“From our point of view, as some of our revenue is generated by flights related to the leisure industry, we have more exposure to any general economic downturn that may result from Brexit,” says Gary Ellson.  “That said, we believe that the need for Commercial Pilots is going to peak again within the airline industry so the demand for flight training will remain.  Our student base even at the moment is very steady.”

Bliss aviation employs 8 full and part time people, Wayside Transport has a team of 6 training and administration people.  Again both agree that the overheads of running their businesses, especially fuel cost, rates, tax and administration charges need to be kept down after Brexit. They can only hope for a positive outcome – but it is hard to keep your fingers crossed whilst driving and flying!

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