The Shortfall that could affect Short Haul (and Long!).

In 2017 worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time. The recent global travel restrictions caused an unprecedented decline in air passenger numbers and the forecast is that levels will not return to their pre-pandemic status until 2023. But as the aviation industry slowly gets back on its feet again, who is ensuring the aircraft are repaired, serviced and inspected properly?

As demand for air travel increases again so does the demand for aircraft engineers. Boeing anticipates the world will need in excess of 650,000 new MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) technicians over the next 20 years. In addition, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) predicts airlines will require in the region of 25,000 new aircraft in the same period. Aircraft are also continuously expected to be more fuel-efficient, cause less noise pollution and maintain high levels of safety, so the demand for talented engineers is great.

To find out a little more about the engineering role and the issues facing the Aviation MRO organisations I spoke to Andy Wilson, 58, an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer from BIG Aviation Ltd.  Andy holds FAA A & P and CAA B1 & C licences, with a type rating for over 10 types of corporate jets.  He trained from the age of 16, completing a 4-year apprenticeship and a HND in Aircraft Engineering.  I asked him why he chose to be an Aircraft Engineer;

“I knew I wanted to work in engineering, but all the other sectors looked quite dull. When I visited a hangar for the first time, it looked like they were actually enjoying their job, so I chose aircraft engineering!!”

Andy believes the opportunity to travel all over the world with his job is one of the key perks of the industry;

One of the most interesting jobs I have done was retrieve a plane that caught fire in Saudi Arabia – although a really interesting assignment…” Andy told me, with a chuckle, “…it was also a memorable trip because I spent most of the time sitting around the pool waiting for permissions to be authorised – I got the best tan ever!.”

However, it’s not all sunshine and swimming pools, Andy describes how waiting around for hours in airports can be a “real drag”, followed closely by working outside in adverse weather conditions;

“Aircraft aren’t always fixed in a hangar, on one particular job we were working in 3 ft of snow and I accidentally dropped one of my tools; it completely disappeared into the snow and I couldn’t find it again”

Andy admits that the wages are a big incentive too. However, even though the income for aircraft engineers is enticing there aren’t currently enough applicants. Recently, digital roles seem to be more attractive than practical ones. It’s not just the quantity of the applicants though, it is the quality;

“Apprenticeships need to focus on practical application in the workplace while we still have operational aircraft engineers to teach them…there is a lack of trained individuals, a knock-on effect of lack of quality apprenticeships.  Focus in training is moving away from the practical to the academic – Knowing is very different to doing!”

The decline of engineers in the industry hasn’t suddenly become a concern, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) informs us that 54-year-olds currently hold the highest number of Part 66 licenses; the most valuable qualification in aircraft maintenance as it involves hands-on training that confirms the capabilities of the license holder.  Andy can certainly appreciate, as he tells me of the issues of low-level lighting coupled with ageing eyesight, that thousands of engineers will be reaching retirement age over the next decade.  Although new technology is expected to relieve some of the pressure, it is not currently capable of all the necessary tasks. So for now, experienced, committed and motivated licensed engineers are still essential.

Although apprenticeships are generally considered the most effective form of training, perhaps we need more airlines and MRO organisations to provide assistance to train in the form of scholarships. This could make a big difference for students deciding which sector to specialise in. Although this translates as an initial increase in cost for the aviation industry (and in turn travellers), in the end it could be less damaging than the effects of the shortfall.

As the aviation industry continues to search for a solution to this vital personnel shortage, we are here to help search for the right insurance solution.

We have access to some of the world’s best known general aviation insurers providing the full range of insurance cover to the UK and European general aviation sector.  Competitive terms are backed up by a high-quality service which includes access to a dedicated claims service.

Navigating Sustainability Whilst Supporting Your Business Needs

To lower our environmental impact and combat climate change we all know we should practice the 3 R’s; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, however, these 3 steps can also benefit your company and your community too.  Unfortunately it can be a minefield figuring out how to manage waste and sometimes the focus can become deprioritised in a busy schedule, so we have put together a simple guide offering a little clarity on how you can help both the planet and your pocket.

Reduce is the best place to start; cutting down the amount of waste your company produces can be the most cost effective and environmentally-friendly approach.  Businesses actively making changes to ensure they are environmentally responsible may attract new customers, or even give them the edge over their competitors in a contract bid; whereas insufficient awareness could have negative consequences on both popularity and profitability.

Simple solutions are often the most effective, just focus on one key area to start, for example:

  • Energy – with rising energy prices, now is a great time to conduct an energy audit.
  • Print and paper – compare the cost of an on-line system with the cost of stationery.
  • Packaging – when possible buying in bulk can significantly reduce waste and often save money.

Next comes Reuse. Before throwing something away consider whether you, or someone else, could find a use for it; after all ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. 

If an item can be repaired, repurposed and/or reused it reduces the need for new.  Reusing an object without the necessity for harmful treatments and processes reduces waste and pollution making it a more sustainable option than recycling.

Reusing items can also have a positive social impact; our friends at Men’s Sheds and Repair Cafes across the globe successfully reuse and repair many items that would otherwise end up in landfill.  Consider donating any unwanted wood and timber to a community wood recycling centre or local Men’s Shed and there is a good chance it will become a bespoke lamp, picture frame or hedgehog hotel in its next life.  Hand and power tools and gardening equipment can also be cleaned and repaired and used to benefit the community.  Even small items like coffee tins (the ones with orange plastic lids..) are great for organising and storing nails and screws.

Lastly, but by no means leastly, Recycle – ‘only once a product or material is not fit for purpose should we consider recycling it.’

Recycling aims to reuse an item by reducing it to raw materials, so the materials can be reprocessed into something new.  Although these processes can be less eco-friendly than reusing an item, recycling still has huge benefits for the environment. Recycling aluminium, for example, uses 5% of the energy required to make it from raw material and recycling two glass bottles saves enough energy to boil water for five cups of tea.

However, it is no secret that recycling can be confusing, sometimes it is difficult to know what can and can’t be recycled and rules will differ depending on your location. Surprisingly a large percentage of UK households and businesses still do not recycle enough; did you know only 7.5%, of a potential 70%, of all office waste, including paper, is recycled?

The materials that are widely recycled are paper, card, plastic, glass, metal and food waste, however recycling plastic is particularly beneficial as plastic takes so long to biodegrade and is made using oil, so the more plastic we recycle, the more oil is conserved as well.

Unfortunately contaminating the recycle bin with the wrong items or residual contents can result in the whole load being rejected so here are a few simple tips that may help ensure all your hard work does not go to waste (pun totally intended!).

  • empty and rinse – a quick rinse will do, liquid and residue will stop items being recycled.
  • scrunch test – scrunch packaging and if it bounces back chances are it’s not recyclable.
  • leave the lids on glass jars and bottles – it reduces the chance of the lids getting
  • remove labels, as a general rule – not all can be removed during processing.

Don’t forget to try to find a local community group and ask what items would be useful, just knowing in advance that those items would be appreciated may change the way you look at your waste forever.

While you are busy protecting the planet, let us help protect your business.  We have made it our priority to make it simple and easy to insure your business, let us navigate this minefield for you to find the best and most suitable cover for your business.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies: a guide for landlords

Assured Shorthold Landlords get a bad name for the state of repair of the rental property: being greedy, having sub-par white goods and furniture and hiking prices unfairly. But it doesn’t take much to be a good landlord, and attract the best tenants.

When you become an Assured Shorthold Landlord, you will need to decide whether you find an Estate Agent to find tenants, or do this yourself. There are benefits to either, and it may depend in large part whether or not you have the time. If you go down the route of having an agent you can then decide if they will also manage the property: although you will still need to agree to all work and associated costs in advance, and you may find that you pay higher prices when work goes through your agent rather than direct.

An agent can guide you with regards to the relevant rental cost expectations in your area, a search online may also give you parameters for appropriate weekly or monthly costs to rent your property.

When you have interested tenants, ensure you have formal checks in place to assess their ability to pay and look after your property. References are essential to protect you as much as possible.

Once tenants are confirmed, and the rent and term of the shorthold tenancy agreed, you will need to formalise your contract in a written Tenancy Agreement. If you are not going through an agent it may be useful to know that the government has published a model tenancy agreement which can be downloaded for free. You will need to include whether the property is furnished (in part or whole) or not, and it is worthwhile considering whether to have a break clause (which allows early termination of the contract).

Prior to new tenants moving in there must be a check-in report carried out. This is also called an inventory. As of June 2020 landlords are responsible for the costs associated with setting up, renewing or ending the tenancy, including inventory and check-out fees. Both you and the tenants need to sign this report, and it should cover the state of repair of the rooms as well as the contents present. Photos can be useful as an extra safeguard.

You will also need to supply your new tenants with meter readings and your full contact details.

Before renting your property for the first time, or to new tenants, you are obligated to ensure that the property is a safe place to live. As a landlord you need to ensure:
  • The property is free from serious hazards
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted on every floor, and work (it is the tenant’s obligation to test these during the period of the tenancy)
  • Water, gas and electricity supply is in order
  • You have the documentation for the annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer
  • Ensure the property is at a minimum of EPC energy efficiency band E
You will also need to ensure you have a 5-yearly electrical safety check by a qualified and competent person (new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021).


It is good practice to ensure the property and any contents as part of the rental are in a good state of repair. Do remember that should you need to go into the property for things like repairs you will need to seek permission to access and give at least 24 hours notice. You cannot enter the property without permission of the tenants.

At the end of the fixed-term agreement, you and the tenants will need to agree whether to continue the arrangement, either on a monthly basis, or through a new contract. It may be a chance to raise the rental price: a typical rent increase is around 3-5% annually. However, the costs involved in finding new tenants may offset any rental gain. And good tenants may be worthwhile holding onto!

It is important to remember that your rental property is a source of income, and thus treat it like a business. You will need to keep a thorough recording of the finances related to the rental property. Keeping records of income and expenditure will include a log of deposit receipts, rent receipts, maintenance and repair receipts. Digital records can be easier to manage. You should also record all landlord-tenant communication. UK tax laws determine what you can claim as allowable expenses, and what level of tax you pay on the profit.

The government provides guidance on this. It may also be worth seeking guidance of a recommended accountant, the benefit in tax savings can outweigh the cost.

Running your rental as a business means that money needs to exchange hands. Income will include:

  • Rent
  • a refundable tenancy deposit: this is capped at 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above. All deposits must be put in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP)

Other permitted fees throughout the tenancy include:

  • a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) which is capped at no more than 1 week’s rent
  • payments capped at £50 (or reasonably incurred costs, if higher) for the variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy
  • payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax where the tenant has not paid these directly
  • a default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement
  • payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant

Like all businesses, you will also need to ensure that you are protected. Most standard home insurance policies don’t cover rentals, and so one straightforward way to protect your property is through Landlord Insurance. This provides cover for the building and any furnishings you have provided as a landlord.  It can also protect you against loss of rental income and liabilities incurred if your tenants, their guests or other members of the public are injured on your property and you are found to be at fault.  It will typically include:

  • Buildings and Contents Insurance
  • Public and Property Owners Liability Insurance
  • Employers Liability
  • Loss of Rent Insurance

Landlords legal protection can be added to these policies to cover the cost of legal fees for things such as tenant eviction, tax disputes and criminal defence related to the policy.

The advantages of Men’s Shed, Repair Café and Hackspace Community Insurance

Setting up or already running a Community group? Have you ever considered “What insurance do I need if I run a community group such as a Men’s Shed, Repair Café, Hackspace or something similar?”

Here at E&G, we specialise in offering comprehensive community group insurance, at a highly competitive price. Since 2018, we’ve sold more than 500 annual insurance policies to Men’s Sheds alone across the UK, all of whom seem quite happy with their policy and the level of cover provided to them. Furthermore, our Managing Director, Helen Sergeant, successfully managed the Men’s Shed at the Princess Alice Hospice for over 3 years. So you can trust us!

We offer free advice to community groups on their insurance, and we’re always only a phone call away from pointing you in the right direction. Having said that, we’ve tried to best summarise the insurance you need, why you need it and the importance of having it below.


The key covers that every community group such as Men’s Sheds will need to have are:

  • Public Liability
  • Employers’ Liability (if you have employees and/or volunteers)

We can provide Public Liability at a range of monetary limits. This means that you are covered for compensation claims and legal costs if anyone (other than employees or volunteers) suffers personal injury or property damage because of your community group.

Employers’ Liability might seem a confusing one, especially as a lot of community groups have no official ‘employees’ but only volunteers. Unfortunately, under UK law the liability for any injury that happens to volunteers will still fall upon the organising party, or in this case the community group. So in this sense volunteers are regarded as employees and, therefore, any group with volunteers will need this insurance too.

  • Buildings Insurance
  • Contents Insurance

These two covers act as they would with your home insurance. If you rent a space you’ll only need contents insurance, however if you own the space in which your community group operates then buildings insurance will be necessary. This will provide financial protection from damage to the structure caused by incidents such as fire, storm, lightning or flood, whilst contents insurance will protect your machinery and goods left within the premises in the event of theft, fire or flood.


Once you’ve sorted out both Public and Employers’ Liability and made sure you’ve got the applicable cover for buildings and/or contents you can then consider some of these optional cover extensions, that can often still be important for the peace of mind of members, but not specifically necessary for the day-to-day effective running of the Shed.

  • Trustee’s Indemnity

Trustee’s Indemnity insurance will ensure that if a breach of trust, breach of duty or negligence claims are made against the trustees on the community group they will not have to personally pay legal claims.

  • Legal

Trustee’s Indemnity insurance will ensure that if a breach of trust, breach of duty or negligence claims are made against the trustees on the community group they will not have to personally pay legal claims.

Legal cover will pay for the defence of legal proceedings for things like employment disputes, health and safety issues and data protection breaches. In addition, this cover provides confidential legal advice on any commercial legal problem and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It is worthwhile noting that the above applies equally to Repair Café’s and Hackspaces as it does to Men’s Sheds.

We hope this advice helped you understand the specific needs of your community group. With every policy tailored to the specific group it’s no wonder we’re the UK’s leading insurance provider in this sector. So please feel free to get in touch to further talk through options by either giving us a ring on 0208 2550617 or by emailing our community group specialist Tristan at

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