Pilots union Balpa has taken what it itself has described as the "extraordinary step" to advise aspiring pilots not to pursue a career in aviation, at least at this stage.
Balpa said the coronavirus crisis had created a surplus of pilots who were now in competition for fewer jobs, with many airlines trimming their schedules owing to the pandemic.
Youngsters keen to take to the skies are instead advised to gain experience in another profession before looking to enter the industry once it has started to recover from the Covid crisis.
The union has warned students otherwise risk paying upwards of £100,000 for their training only to find there are no jobs available once they qualify.
Wendy Pursey, Balpa’s head of membership and careers services, said: “There are currently 10,000 unemployed commercial pilots across Europe, including 1,600 pilots in the UK.