A group of 110 high school students on Monday kicked off their cadet training with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force at a ceremony in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province.
The group is among 1,003 cadets recruited to a PLA training course to prepare them for a future career in the Air Force.
The cadets will be put through their paces at 16 civilian high schools nationwide, which will serve as Air Force training bases.
According to an Air Force statement, the 1,003 cadets were selected from 110,000 applicants.
Shen Jinke, an Air Force spokesperson, said this initiative indicated a shift in the way future pilots were trained; paving the way for the military and civilian organizations to nurture military talent, together.
According to the Air Force, successful applicants will receive a bursary and will board at the schools. They will be given flight lessons in addition to regular subjects for the next three years.
They should sign contracts agreeing to apply for PLA aviation universities and participate in pilot recruitment tests after graduating from high school.
The ministries of education and public security and the PLA general political department in February jointly issued a document on nurturing future pilots.