Considering how flexible staff need to be in today’s transitory employment scene, it’s pleasing to note that many top quality employers are not averse to taking on workers whose experience is in totally different industries and who are, to put it politely, no spring chickens.

Judging by testimonials from some of its staff, the Civil Aviation Authority would appear to fit neatly into this category. You might have thought that this regulatory body which is responsible for air safety in the UK would, by virtue of the high level of training required, tend to be a “ cradle to grave” employer and not particularly interested in looking at older applicants from other industries.

However, just looking at two real-life cases on their excellent recruitment website, it is quite clear that relatively mature people can start a second career with the organization. Dr. Ray Johnston, the Head of the CAA’s Aviation Health Unit, is a prime example having started off working in a hospital environment and then switching to the CAA where he could combine his lifelong passions for both aviation and medicine.

“I thought the CAA might be a bit stuffy, but my views changed immediately,” Ray recalls. “I found a world-class employer encouraging me to realize my potential - I’m a prime example of someone who was given the opportunity to develop.”

Similarly, Caroline Hill worked in the financial services industry before applying for a position as a Licensing Officer where she is responsible for issuing and renewing licenses for engineers and flight crew. She sounds a very happy bunny and also makes the important point about the organization being willing to train people without relevant experience even if they are not exactly youngsters.

“One of the things I was looking for was job satisfaction – I’ve found it.” She says. “The CAA is willing to invest in people and their well-being. They’re willing to take on people without relevant experience, and to encourage people like the older generation coming back into a working environment or mothers returning to work. Flexible hours, a great social life, free car parking, a great pension scheme…….”.

The CAA also has a refreshing policy allowing job applicants to submit their CVs for recurring vacancies in anticipation of when the next one crops up.

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