Big Bang South East 2018

Around 24,000 people currently work at Gatwick Airport in a wide variety of companies and diverse roles. It is an exciting place to work and as the airport continues to grow it’s important to build a pipeline of talent for the future.

Gatwick’s comprehensive education programme aims to inform, inspire and invest in young people, opening up the world of opportunity that the airport offers to everyone and helping them to develop the right skills for the right job.

Inform – Informing students about the wide range of careers at the airport, raising aspirations and illustrating this with real life examples.

Inspire – Inspiring students about the importance of STEM subjects and how these skills are used specifically at the airport in a variety of roles.

Invest – Investing in our future workforce by creating employment opportunities and routes into employment through our apprenticeship and graduate programmes.

STEM support 

Gatwick is actively involved in partnerships and sponsoring events that
encourage young people to get involved in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths), which form the basis of many of the core skills needed for IT, engineering and construction jobs at an airport.

Gatwick is the headline sponsor of Crawley STEMfest which gives 20,000 local young people the chance to learn about STEM career paths. This culminates with the Big Bang Fair South East in Ardingly, the largest regional event, where more than 9,000 students from 200 schools come along and learn about science through activities, shows and workshops.

Gatwick has been headline sponsor of the Big Bang South East event for the past two years and a sponsor since 2013. With the airport’s added support, the event expanded across two days for the first time this year and as headline sponsor, a ‘Gatwick zone’ was set-up offering more than 16 interactive airport-related activities, supported by a range of airport teams, including Airfield, Terminals and Engineering and various partner organisations including easyJet.

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Engineering, Tony Yates, said: “Engineering skills are critical to our business and we want to be at the forefront of inspiring young people to join us and to be part of our continuing future growth and success. We are delighted to be the headline sponsor for both Crawley STEMfest and the Big Bang, where we will be able to connect with thousands of local students.”

Furthermore Gatwick has partnered with the Gatwick Aviation Museum and the Royal Aeronautical Society to host a year-long series of ‘Cool Aeronautics’ events, whereby students from local schools are introduced to careers in aerospace engineering, space and the aviation industry.

Learn Live broadcasts 

In the past two years, Gatwick has partnered with ‘Learn Live’ to bring airport life direct and live to classrooms across the country. Each episode covers a different theme and introduces students to the wide variety of careers on offer at Gatwick. It also includes videos and live interactive sessions where students can ask employees questions about their roles and careers. These can be re-watched at any time via the Gatwick website. In 2017 the broadcasts reached 20,000 students across the whole of the UK.

To complement the Learn Live broadcasts, Gatwick has produced a free to download resource pack for teachers, designed for them to help inspire students, providing key facts and information about each role and the skills and qualifications required. The pack also contains questions relating to roles at the airport for students to think about and discuss. 

Graduate positions and Apprenticeships 

Gatwick has a proud history of providing three year programmes for graduates to gain valuable experience and skills working at the airport, using it as a foundation for a successful future career. The sheer breadth of projects and work at Gatwick means there are a wide variety of opportunities to explore a career in design, engineering, project management and construction, to name a few. Each programme is tailored to provide support and encouragement along the way and help the graduates achieve highly sought after industry skills.

The airport also runs a four year engineering apprenticeship programme, which offers budding engineers a chance to earn while they train and get a nationally recognised qualification at the end of the course. Gatwick’s engineers work around the clock, 365 days a year and are essential to the smooth running of the airport. 

Lastly, Gatwick has been involved with the ‘Be the Change’ programme for the past two years, in partnership with other businesses in the Gatwick Diamond, and brings together young people from Crawley schools and inspirational business volunteers to help build their confidence, communication and employability skills. The programme takes place over three to four months and comprises large scale conference, 1:1 sessions and workplace visits.

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