Amidst a growing trend of employers implementing in-house training programs, JetBlue has recently announced that it will launch a recruitment program which will train students with no flying experience to become pilots. The program, called Gateway 7, will complement JetBlue's six existing recruitment programs and will train two dozen students on an introductory basis in summer 2016.1 Although this particular program is highly specialized to the aviation field, employers from a variety of industries can reap tremendous rewards from applying this type of initiative to their own recruiting efforts. Read on to learn how an employee training program can benefit your business:

Tap Into a Broader Range of Candidates

Most U.S. carriers typically recruit pilots with the minimum required flight hours from the military or aviation schools. Since the new Gateway 7 initiative will now provide for the applicants' flight training, JetBlue will have access to a new pool of applicants who may not have been able to apply previously. By opening the program to a broader range of applicants, JetBlue will attract interest from parties that possess a much broader range of experience and skills than prior recruiting efforts were able. Regardless of industry, hiring a diverse workforce increases creative problem-solving and fosters innovation.2

Maintain a Pool of Highly Qualified Candidates

Although JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw has stated that while the airline is not currently experiencing a shortage of pilots, the new Gateway 7 program will serve to hedge any future talent shortages. The in-house, competency-based training program will aid in maintaining a pool of highly qualified candidates by allowing JetBlue to monitor the progress of its students. Employers who offer in-house training also ensure that their students are being trained on the areas of most use to the employer, and that students meet the qualifications which are most important to the employer's specific needs.    

Expose Recruits to Being Part of the Team Early On

An additional benefit of an employer-sponsored education model is that it exposes the enrolled students to the company early on. Under certain models, the students may also be working in an entry-level position while participating in the educational program. This has the added benefit of allowing the employer to foster its own standards and best practices in the employee from the beginning of their career. The employee also has the opportunity to work with the team and build valuable relationships while gaining a hands-on understanding of the company's operations.

Interested in learning more? Click to explore how your company can benefit from offering an employer-sponsored educational program.  

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Resources: Photo credit. (1) JetBlue Shakes Up Pilot Hiring by Training Them From Scratch (2) What Are the Advantages of a Diverse Workforce?