Manchester Airport pledges to inspire and develop the next generation of aviation professionals
· Manchester Airport launches new programme to educate and inspire people of all ages to seek out career in aviation
· Announcement at Airport Academy open day comes as the Northern hub publishes its annual CSR Report
· The airport has also renewed commitments to investing in local communities and transitioning to Net Zero Carbon.
Manchester Airport today announced a major drive to create the next generation of aviation talent.
The airport’s MAG Connect programme will educate and inspire people of all ages - from primary school pupils to PhD students – about the range of exciting and dynamic opportunities a career in aviation can offer.
The initiative will be replicated across other airports owned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which is the UK’s largest independent airport operator, and also runs London Stansted and East Midlands Airports.
A network of education and employment facilities will be used to deliver the programme in Manchester, including the Aerozone centre for school-aged children which launched earlier this year, and the Airport Academy, which helps jobseekers develop their skills and access job opportunities at the airport. It comes as the Department for Transport’s new ‘Generation Aviation’ scheme was unveiled, as part of the Government’s commitment to develop skills in the aviation sector.
The programme was announced today at an Airport Academy Open Day, with a variety of employers based on site at Manchester Airport giving talks to jobseekers referred from JobCentre Plus, before conducting a Q&A session and a terminal tour.
Over the next 12 months, across the three airports it covers, the MAG Connect scheme will;
· Support the education of around 12,000 young people, welcoming them to visit its Aerozone facilities
· Introduce a new Jet Zero curriculum focused on decarbonisation throughout its Aerozones by next September
· Continue to provide free fully accredited pre-employment training programmes aimed at jobseekers and free upskilling training programmes for existing workforces
· Organise multiple on-site jobs fairs to enable local jobseekers to connect with on-site employers and secure roles at MAG’s airports
· Launch writing competitions for Key Stage 2 and 3 students at schools around MAG airports to feature in a ‘Little Book of Travel Tales’
· Organise a series of focused events to break down barriers and encourage more female students to take up STEM roles.
The Programme’s longer-term goals include supporting 60,000 young people through MAG airports’ Aerozones, and a minimum of 7,500 job seekers through its Airport Academies, by 2025.
The airport also published its latest annual CSR Report for the year 2021-22, which outlines the achievements of the airport and the wider Group over the last 12 months. This report aligns with MAG’s CSR Strategy “Working together for a brighter future”, first published in 2020, and seeks to deliver positive change through a number of outreach programmes based around key themes, such as environmental sustainability (‘Zero Carbon Airports’), careers (‘Opportunity For All’) and community engagement (‘Local Voices’).
Neil Robinson, MAG’s CSR Director, said: “MAG Connect is a clear demonstration of our commitment to inspiring the next generation of aviation talent.
“By illustrating the breadth of opportunities in our industry to young people, and by supporting and upskilling jobseekers into exciting career paths, the aviation sector stands to benefit from a new cohort of passionate professionals for the future.
“MAG Connect will play a crucial role in supporting the Government’s Generation Aviation scheme, and we will continue to work closely with Ministers to maximise that support.
“Our latest annual CSR Report outlines the important contribution our education and employment facilities made to our communities over the last 12 months; alongside the progress we have made against our goal to be a net zero carbon business by 2038.
“Despite the challenges faced by our industry over the last 12 months, I am proud of what MAG has achieved in delivering a more sustainable future for our industry and those who live closest to our airports.”
The CSR Report revealed that more than 800 school pupils from across the North West visited Manchester Airport’s Aerozone in the two months after its launch, and the facility hopes to host 5,000 pupils per year. The Airport Academy, meanwhile, played a crucial role in the airport’s recruitment efforts as it recovered from the pandemic, making more than more than 4,000 job referrals.
MAG’s commitment to a sustainable future goes beyond education and employment, and this year’s report also detailed the work delivered to support communities and progress the airport’s decarbonisation agenda over the past 12 months, as it continued to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
Manchester Airport’s Community Trust Fund celebrates its 25th anniversary in December, and to mark the occasion, has launched a one-off ‘eco-garden’ competition for schools in its catchment area, with a top prize of £25,000 for the primary school which produces the best design for an outdoor learning space. The Community Trust Fund continues to pledge a minimum of £100,000 per year to supporting community-led, not-for-profit projects and groups in communities neighbouring the airport.
As part of its ongoing work to deliver on its CSR Strategy, in recent months MAG has set out further ambitious commitments, including:
· Announcing plans to publish a MAG Good Employment Charter by the end of 2022/23, which will set the standards people can expect when they work for the Group, or at any one of the companies in its supply chain.
· The publication of five new Jet Zero pledges to help drive forward the UK’s 2050 net zero target, including a commitment to create a new sustainability curriculum for its Aerozones, and to fund three PhDs focused on the decarbonisation of the aviation sector.
· Piloting its new Youth Forum scheme to put the views of young people across MAG’s local communities to greater effect in the Group’s plans for the future.