'It’s about that long-term pipeline of talent for the future' - London Gatwick hosts more than 100 students at Apprenticeship Careers Day
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More than 100 students from across Sussex and Surrey, as well as adult visitors from Job Centre Plus and other organisations, were able to talk to companies such as easyJet, British Airways, Boeing, Skybreak and Border Force about what they have to offer in terms of apprenticeships.
Students from The Gatwick School, Oriel, Collyers, Crawley College, East Surrey College and Oakwood School in Horley visited the STEM Centre and found out about the various roles available to do them and how they can learn on the job as a different option to University.
Alison Addy, Head of External Engagement for London Gatwick, was delighted to welcome everyone to this event, held at the airport’s STEM Centre, which opened in October.
"This is a our first ever campus wide apprenticeship event at Gatwick. For us, this is a great opportunity to inspire young people about the huge range of opportunities there are at Gatwick and in aviation. We brought together lots of companies from across the campus with students from local schools and adult visitors, so we can showcase those apprenticeships opportunities.
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"For Gatwick, it’s about that long-term pipeline of talent for the future. We are doing everything we can to engage with local partners, with companies at the airport but most importantly with local schools to raise their aspirations to see the wealth of opportunities there are at the airport.”
London Gatwick has run a four-year engineering apprenticeship for 47 years now and they are launching this year's applications on Monday (February 12) and that is for four new apprentices starting in August. Alison said: “Look out for those adverts next week because that is an amazing opportunity.”
Abi Davies and Joel Locke were two London Gatwick apprentices who were on hand to talk to students. Abi, who is a third year engineering apprentice at Gatwick, said: “It’s been really important for me. I came straight from GCSEs to do this rather than college. Not only have I got my qualifications but it’s also taught me the hands on skills I need for the industry and it’s help build my confidence levels, communications skills and other key skills you need in the workplace.
“Apprenticeships are such important things and they help young people so much. Getting you ready for the industry but also it gives you life skills. It’s a really good route to go down and I would encourage anyone to do it.”
London Gatwick are very keen to employ local people as they look to grow and thrive. Alison said: “We know we have an important part to play in the local community and economy so we work really hard to make sure we are playing our part.
"If you look at the bigger picture of sustainability and making sure we are reducing our impacts [on the environment], having local people access those jobs by public transport and by living closer to work, they are also spending their money in the local economy, so it’s all part of that big picture of local success.
"What we want to happen is that as the airport continues to thrive, people in the local community have access to those great opportunities that come with having a great airport on their doorstep.”
At the Apprenticeship Careers Fair, we also spoke to Stuart McKenzie from Border Force, Vanessa Schock from easyJet and Naomi Chisholm from Skybreak – you can interviews with them in the video above.