Airport operations apprenticeship scheme launched by Manchester Airport

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Manchester Airport has launched a two-year apprenticeship scheme, named Aviation Management, focused on airport operations.

Delivered in partnership with Trafford College, the apprenticeship will be the equivalent of a foundation degree or the first year of an undergraduate degree, with at least 30 students completing the program, debt-free. They will complete four rotational placements in roles which span the breadth of the airport journey. They will spend time in landside terminal operations – where they will gain a comprehensive understanding of passenger services, from check-in to security processes – before stepping out on the airfield to experience aircraft operations, ground handling and runway management.

Apprentices’ time will be split through a combination of workplace training at the airport, and classroom-based learning delivered at the on-site Manchester Airport Academy. Their development will be supported by multiple leaders across Manchester Airport, starting with their on-the-ground rotation manager, all the way up to the scheme’s sponsor, Chris Woodroofe, managing director of Manchester Airport. Upon completion, apprentices will be offered permanent roles at the airport, with opportunities to progress into team-leader positions and beyond as they develop through their careers. Apprentices will receive incremental pay increases across the duration of their course.

The scheme at Manchester Airport will act as a pilot, with a view to rolling it out at both London Stansted and East Midlands Airports in the future, to produce a pipeline of talent across the group. Places on the maiden apprenticeship course have been initially offered exclusively to anyone over the age of 18 in communities surrounding the airport and promoted to local school sixth forms and colleges. To apply for the program, applicants must be at least 18 years old and be on track to achieve 80 UCAS points (equivalent to two C grades at A-Level, or two Merits and a Pass at BTEC). Students can find out more about and apply for the scheme by logging onto Manchester Airport’s online careers portal. They have until June 30 to submit their applications.

Launching the scheme is one part of MAG’s Developing Talent strategy, to create managers and leaders of the future. Building apprenticeship programs like this one is also a key feature of MAG’s CSR Strategy, which has “Opportunity for All” as a central pillar, with the Group firmly committed to ensuring it gives the widest possible access to jobs and training at its airports.

Woodroofe said, “I am so pleased to announce our new operational apprenticeship scheme, which will provide a unique opportunity for people wanting to kick-start their career in the aviation industry. There really are few working environments that offer the excitement and variation that an airport does, and as one of the UK’s largest airports Manchester is a fantastic place to be immersed in the world of aviation operations. This new scheme is part of our long-standing commitment to delivering education and skills training to young people from across our region, and I will be proud to welcome this new cohort of apprentices later this year.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said, “This apprenticeship offers young people the opportunity to get a foundational degree qualification without going into debt, this is in-line with our ambitions for the Greater Manchester Baccalaureate, which is designed to maximize young people’s ability to get a good job in the growing success story of the Greater Manchester economy.”

James Scott, principle and CEO of The Trafford College Group, said, “We are excited to launch our new Level 4 Aviation Management Apprenticeships at Manchester Airport, providing a unique and comprehensive learning experience for aspiring aviation professionals. With industry-leading experts and immersive training opportunities, apprentices will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this dynamic and ever-evolving industry. At The Trafford College Group, we believe in working in partnership with industry leaders, forming partnerships with purpose, and working in collaboration to meet skills needs.”

Rad Taylor started as an apprentice at Manchester, and now works as the airport’s aerodrome and landside operations director, leading a team of 950 people who ensure that the airport’s daily operations run smoothly. Taylor said, “My apprenticeship at Manchester Airport provided me with strong foundations to forge a successful career within the aviation sector. Learning on the job and really getting to know the ins and outs of how an airport works gave me the knowledge and skills to progress to my current role. Manchester Airport gave me all of the development tools I needed to turn my apprenticeship into an exciting and fulfilling career, and I recommend anyone thinking of applying to do so. There really is no work environment more exciting than an airport.”

For more key personnel updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here.

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