The Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy was set up as a response to the severe challenges that airport retailers faced in 2004 in recruiting and retaining staff with the appropriate skills.
In the 11 years since the Academy was established, over 5,000 local residents – from school leaving age upwards – have been placed into further training opportunities and more than 3,188 have been placed directly into work at the airport.
Effectively, the Academy works to partner local job seekers and candidates with organisations across airport who have employment opportunities.
It’s estimated it has saved the government’s benefits bill about £8 million* through its work filling the skills gaps and giving local people in jobs.
In total, over 76,500 people are employed at Heathrow, equal to one in five jobs in the local area. Over half of the people who work at Heathrow live in the five local boroughs – Slough, Spelthorne, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing – closest to the airport.
The creation of the Academy in 2004 also anticipated the opening of T5 in March 2008 and represented a response to the staff resourcing and skill challenges that the new terminal would present. The main objective was to help concessionaires attract, retain and develop their staff.
Due to the success of the Retail Academy it was decided to look at other sectors that would benefit from a similar model, and in 2011 the Heathrow Academy began training and putting into work candidates across the construction and aviation & logistics sectors.
To find out more about the Heathrow Employment & Skills Academy please visit www.heathrowacademy.co.uk.
*Note: The savings to the public purse are calculated from 2004-2015 based on an estimate of 50% of candidates being paid £100 in benefits for 52 weeks.