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Heathrow launches first airport-owned apprenticeship scheme to ensure 10,000 quality apprenticeships by 2030

Posted on in Construction and supply chain, Press

• Heathrow launches first airport-owned Shared Apprenticeship Scheme in construction to ensure 10,000 quality apprenticeships by 2030

• Move will build a stronger home base of skills, essential to the country’s success in a post-Brexit world

• Part of a series of commitments made by the airport, in response to a report from the Heathrow Skills Taskforce, an independent committee convened to ensure the airport delivers on its expansion ambitions

• Commitments welcomed by the Chair of the Heathrow Skills Taskforce Lord Blunkett, Baroness Sugg, trade union representatives and local students at launch event

On Thursday the 31st of January, Heathrow has launched Britain’s first airport-owned Shared Apprentice Scheme in construction that will help build a stronger base of UK skills and make best use of 10,000 quality apprenticeships by 2030.

Responding to recommendations made by the independent Heathrow Skills Taskforce, chaired by Lord Blunkett, Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye today announced a package of commitments to ensure expansion leaves a national legacy for the airport’s local community and future infrastructure projects. The move follows an extensive two-year review by the Taskforce who have identified and recommended the best way forward for the airport’s future talent and skills strategy, taking into account other major UK projects in the pipeline.

The introduction of a Shared Apprenticeship Scheme will allow apprentices working at Heathrow to establish a broad range of skills and experience by working with multiple companies based or operating at the airport to complete their apprenticeship.Major construction companies including Mace, Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Dyer & Butler and Ferrovial, along with their respective supply chains, are set to take part.

Going further to ensure these skills are transferrable between jobs and sectors beyond Heathrow expansion, the airport will also trial a new “Skills Passport” that allow apprentices and employees to create a log of their achievements.

Local schools, colleges, ministers and businesses, welcomed these commitments during launch event at the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy. Other key commitments announced include:

• A commitment to provide 10,000 quality work experience days by 2030, including for people with additional learning needs and disabilities

• Offering 1,200 work placement days to local T-level students in construction and digital careers from September 2020.

Click here to read Heathrow’s full response to the recommendations of the Heathrow Skills Taskforce

Commenting on the response Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye, said: “The UK’s ability to compete in the future will depend upon the skills people are provided with to help them learn and adapt to new ways of working and changing technologies. Heathrow Expansion is a once in a generation opportunity to help reduce the skills deficit in the UK by providing a bespoke programme that helps people get into a career, not just a job”.

Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, said: “Heathrow’s apprenticeship scheme will benefit thousands of young people, creating a legacy of long-term and high-skilled career opportunities. The airport’s ambition will bring together British based companies and major infrastructure projects to develop a pipeline of talent, which is great news for both the industry and young people.”

The Taskforce have pulled together suite of recommendations many of which we are pleased to see Heathrow take forward. These steps will help to ensure the airport has the talent in place to deliver expansion whilst working with other infrastructure projects to benefit the whole of the UK

Assistant General Secretary of Unite, TUC General Council member, and member of the Skills Taskforce, Gail Cartmail