Manchester Airport launches new UK-first apprenticeship scheme
· Two- year operationally focused scheme is the first of its kind in the UK aviation sector
· Paid programme gives apprentices a foundation degree level qualification.
· Scheme builds on the airport’s commitment to delivering skills and education opportunities to communities closest to it
· Announcement has been welcomed by both the Department for Transport and Education, and the Mayor of Greater Manchester
Manchester Airport today announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind apprenticeship scheme, creating a new route for future airport leaders to embark on a career in aviation.
The two-year scheme - titled Aviation Management - will give students experience of all the elements of and airport operation. Upon successful completion, apprentices will then be offered permanent roles at the airport, with opportunities to progress into team-leader positions and beyond as they develop through their careers.
The scheme has been developed by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), as part of its long-term commitment to delivering education and skills training across the regions it serves, and to provide students with more choice when they leave education, offering a paid role with a structured development programme.
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 programme, debt-free.
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.
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. No other airport or training provider offers a course designed in this unique and comprehensive way.
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.
Launching the scheme is one part of MAG’s Developing Talent strategy, to create managers and leaders of the future. Building apprenticeship programmes 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.
The scheme at Manchester Airport will act as a pilot, with a view to roll it out at both London Stansted and East Midlands Airports in the future, to produce a pipeline of talent across the Group.
Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director, Manchester Airport said:
“I am so pleased to announce our new operational apprenticeship scheme today, 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.”
The launch of the scheme has been backed by regional and national stakeholders.
Aviation minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton said:
“The aviation sector is brimming with exciting opportunities for those seeking a career that helps grow the economy, has unmatched variety day to day and provides a range of skills and training.
“Manchester Airport’s scheme opens this industry up even more for those who may not have otherwise considered the sector as a viable option and want to take that first step.”
Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State at the Department for Education said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to take flight to a great career, gaining a huge variety of new skills across different roles while gaining a debt-free qualification.
“We are making £2.7 billion available by 2025 to support businesses to create more apprenticeship opportunities like this, offering a ladder of opportunity to all and creating a skilled workforce to meet our needs.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said:
“I am delighted that Manchester Airport are launching this new operational apprenticeship scheme, and proud that Manchester Airport is the pilot for this first-of-its kind scheme in the UK aviation sector.
“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 maximise young people’s ability to get a good job in the growing success story of the Greater Manchester economy.”
James Scott, Principal 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.”
With a competitive starting salary, apprentices will receive incremental pay increases across the duration of their course.
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 Manchester Airport Managing Director, Chris Woodroofe.
To apply for the programme, 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 30th June to submit their applications.
Manchester Airport has a long history of delivering different kinds of apprenticeships and has seen numerous colleagues start successful careers at the airport after completing them.
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.
Rad 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.”
Building on longstanding relationships with local schools and colleges, colleagues from across the airport’s Skills and Education, People and Early Talent teams have been conducting local roadshows, speaking to dozens of local students about the new apprenticeship programme. Tomorrow, they will attend an event at the Wythenshawe Forum to speak to local residents about the scheme, answering their questions and offering support with their applications