Gatwick’s expansion plans would create 18,400 local jobs

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If its Northern Runway proposal is successful, Gatwick Airport expects to create 18,400 additional jobs by 2038 and invest in local education and business.

It is projected that the majority of employment, education and skills initiatives will be focused around Crawley, as well as Horsham, Mid Sussex, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead and Tandridge. Gatwick has started a 12-week public consultation on the plans, which closes on December 1.

Alongside including local businesses in the airport’s supply chains, the construction of the proposed Northern Runway would create an estimated 800 of these 18,400 jobs. These construction jobs will include professional level management roles as well as electrical engineers, plant operators, ground workers, concrete placing specialists, steel erectors, cladding and glaziers, and building management system and fitout specialists, split across the development of the Northern Runway, taxiway alterations, works within terminal buildings, parking lots and highway projects.

Throughout the project, Gatwick also plans to develop its employees’ skills, including construction training, upskilling and apprenticeship opportunities based upon the projection of labour requirements, predicted skills gaps and targets for local recruitment and progression.

In the same vein, Gatwick will also develop its science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiatives, expanding its offer to work with children with special educational needs and with higher and further education institutions. Gatwick also outlined the airport’s commitment to providing long-term work experience programs, an expanded apprenticeship program and graduate entry programs.

Cedric Laurier, Gatwick’s chief technical officer, said, “To be able to offer 800 new jobs in construction alone is great news for both the current workforce and even schoolchildren of today. But it’s not just construction that will benefit. A wide variety of skills and levels of experience will be required as the airport operation grows and these benefits flow out across the local area. We are excited to be able ensure the local population can access the education and skill development provision required to benefit from future airport jobs.”

Jeff Alexander, executive director of Gatwick’s Diamond Initiative, said, “Gatwick Airport is the epicenter of our regional economy and plays an important role in attracting and retaining businesses in the Gatwick Diamond, strengthening the diversity of our economy. Gatwick’s plans for the Northern Runway and its continuing commitment to invest in its infrastructure offers opportunities for employment, retaining a skilled workforce and the continued economic success of the region.”

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