Airport operator Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has officially opened its new £11m (US$14m) college facility at London Stansted Airport, UK, which will host nearly 300 students in its first term.
Stansted Airport College was inaugurated during a ceremony led by Robert Halfon MP, chair of the Education Select Committee, and Ken O’Toole, CEO of London Stansted. The new facility is the first purpose-built on-site college at a major UK airport.
Constructed on a one-acre site made available by the airport, the project received two separate £3.5m (US$4.4m) grants from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Local Growth Fund and Essex County Council, £600,000 (US$760,000) from Harlow College and was also supported by a £300,000 (US$380,000) grant from Uttlesford District Council.
Commenting on the project, Halfon said, “It really is going to transform the lives of thousands of people, it’s one-of-a-kind in the country and will help create good, skilled and well-paid jobs.
“In one year, this beautiful place has been built. It is extraordinary, and I want to give special thanks to MAG, because it is an extraordinary company that genuinely cares about the community. It invests in the community, cares about people and does a lot of work in Harlow. MAG is going to give jobs to thousands of people over the years because of this college.”
O’Toole added, “The college is a demonstration of the power of a true partnership between the private and public sector, local authority and local enterprise partnership, airport and community. As a rapidly growing and responsible airport, employing over 12,000 people, we are focused on building a sustainable future for our business that is based on a long-term career pathway for young people across the region.
“The college is a model for development that we hope will provide the airport with the thousands of first-rate careers that we will need to support our growth over the next decade.”
Karen Spencer, principal of Harlow College, said, “We are incredibly proud to have opened our new college at London Stansted Airport. The college really demonstrates how education and industry can work together to provide meaningful opportunities for young people.
“The support we’ve had from employers has been second to none – they are helping shape the college, from the curriculum on offer, to offering work placements, providing professional talks and donating training resources. We can’t wait to see our first group of trainees graduate and move into amazing careers in aviation.”