An 18-year old construction professional, a sports-mad plasterer and an aviation studies student are among the first people to land a job working on the transformation of Manchester Airport in northwest England. Work started on the £1bn (US$1.3bn) project earlier this year, with 1,500 new jobs set to be created.
The airport’s on-site academy joined forces with main contractor Laing O’Rourke to deliver a specially tailored course for those wanting to work on the scheme. Now, the first batch of students have secured roles working on the transformation and will start on-site in the New Year. All of the workers live locally and were out of full-time work before being given the opportunity.
Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said, “Our investment in Manchester Airport will give the North the world-class international gateway it deserves. But it will also do a huge amount to boost the regional economy by creating jobs, tackling local unemployment and driving up skill levels, ensuring the transformation leaves a lasting legacy.
“That is why it is pleasing to see the first wave of people fill newly created roles on the project and I congratulate them on passing their course and securing a job with Laing O’Rourke.
“This is just one example of the many initiatives we have on-site for people to gain access to employment across the entire airport campus.”
Bryan Glass, project director from Laing O’Rourke, said, “I congratulate the graduates on completing their course. The projects that we deliver have an impact on the local economy that goes beyond physical construction. By working with the Airport Academy, we are able to support local people back into work that leads to sustainable and fulfilling careers, while also creating a pool of talent to complete the transformation program.”
A dozen students started the inaugural three-week course, which covers a range of modules designed to help in the construction industry. These include: health and safety, team building, time management, manual handling, working at height, and dust awareness, to name a few.
With the development complete, the airport will be able to handle 45 million passengers a year, an increase of almost 20 million compared with today.