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Heathrow breaks annual apprenticeship record

Posted 18 February 2020 · Add Comment

Heathrow has broken its annual apprenticeship record with nearly 1,100 apprentices having started their career journeys at the airport last year.

Above: Heathrow Apprentices, John Holland Kaye, Lord Blunkett and Paula Stannett at the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy.
Courtesy Heathrow Airport

Following a record 2019, employers across Team Heathrow – including Dixons, Bradford Swissport, Omniserv, Travelex, Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty and World Duty Free – have kicked off the next decade by pledging to recruit over 400 more apprentices in 2020. Through the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy, all are working towards the target of delivering a further 10,000 new apprenticeships by 2030. As one of the biggest employers in the community, providing thousands of local people with careers not just jobs, Heathrow will directly recruit 20% of the new apprentices in 2020, providing new opportunities in technical areas including legal and airspace.

These latest commitments come as the airport launches a new campaign to inspire employers, colleagues and local councils to ‘Think Again’ about apprenticeships. The new campaign from the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy, aims to tackle the stereotypes and common misconceptions about apprenticeships, such as only being available to school leavers or the lack of long-term skilled career opportunities. Instead it will highlight the diverse range of apprenticeship opportunities at Heathrow and how they play a pivotal role at Heathrow. ‘Think Again’ will also showcase the bespoke opportunities for local people to make positive and lasting changes to their lives by finding a career and not just a job at Britain’s biggest front door.

From opportunities in digital marketing with Heathrow, construction with Balfour Beatty or customer service with World Duty Free, apprenticeships with the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy put local people at the forefront of delivering a world class airport experience.

Rhea, a former World Duty Free apprentice said: “People think apprenticeships don’t lead to good recognised qualifications or they’re for school leavers only but this isn’t the case as apprenticeships are available to people of all ages.”

Rhea, from Buckinghamshire, was headhunted for the role of Customer Service Leader with World Duty Free (WDF) and has now been with WDF for over 14 years and swiftly developed the position of Store Manager. After returning from her second Maternity Leave, Rhea was approached by her line manager to do the level 5 HR Apprenticeship, she knew this was the opportunity she has been waiting for. Whilst on the course, Rhea was diagnosed with a form of arthritis and had to manage her stress levels and balance her workload. Rhea is now confident managing a team of 150 and influence effective changes within the business.

Heathrow’s Chief Executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Keeping the UK’s hub airport running efficiently takes a herculean effort every day and apprentices are mission-critical. That’s why we have already created 5,000 opportunities in the past decade and as we grow over the one, we’ll need even more support from talented people. With the creation of 10,000 opportunities by 2030, we will continue to invest in upskilling local people and challenge our partners to think further about what makes a good apprentice who one day, could be doing my job.”

To support businesses to take on Apprentices, Heathrow will be hosting the Apprenticeships and Careers Show, replacing the Jobs and Careers Fair and help people from our local communities find sustainable employment and Apprenticeships within Team Heathrow.


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