Thousands of careers take off at airport fair
THOUSANDS of young people were welcomed through the doors at the ninth Heathrow jobs and careers fair.
More than 5,500 16- to 24-year-olds from schools and colleges across Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing, and surrounding boroughs attended the event at the Park Inn by Radisson London Heathrow on Thursday February 11.
Students in search of a career were put in touch with more than 50 airportbased businesses, local training providers and voluntary organisations.
They had the chance to discover the range of job roles at the airport, and the opportunities available to them from work experience, internships and apprenticeships.
Among the exhibitors were British Airways, Delaware North and Omniserv.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “With this year’s jobs and careers fair, our biggest yet, it again illustrates the important role that the airport community plays in supporting thousands of jobs in the local area.
“It was great to see so many young people at this event which has given them an insight into the careers we offer.
“With expansion, we would generate 40,000 additional local jobs and have the potential to eliminate youth unemployment in the five local boroughs.”
In previous years, people who have attended the careers fair have managed to secure jobs at the airport.
Dominika Socha of Ealing attended the careers fair in 2015, while studying Airline and Airport Management at the University of West London.
She met a British Airways apprentice on the day and applied online immediately for a position as cabin crew, and following an assessment day and interviews was offered the role, and is now a member of BA cabin crew.
She said: “I am lucky to be able to combine both my studies and full time employment.
“I sacrifice a lot, but the hard work pays off and British Airways is very supportive.
“I get to travel all over the world, crossing multiple time zones combining both short and long-haul flights.
“I continue to be focussed and driven to continue building my career and one day hope to work in the management office for BA at Terminal 5, inspiring others to take the same route.”
The airport currently employs 75,850 people in more than 400 companies, with more than half of those (53%) coming from the local areas.
Inam Rana from Hounslow who attended the jobs fair in 2014, where he met the recruitment team from OmniServ, secured an interview with the company and was offered a role as a passenger service agent.
Mr Rana who has now moved on to work for British Airways’ ground operations team, said: “It is a great opportunity for students like me to be able to join the airport through such well organised fairs and have the unique chance of actually speaking to the employers and have a good idea of what they expect from you and discuss any questions you may have.
“From a very young age I was a special education needs child who was unable to speak or communicate properly.
“I truly believe no matter what problems you have if you work hard and follow your dreams you will one day succeed.
“My long term plan is to work towards a management role at the airport and to inspire others.”
I am lucky to be able to combine my studies and full time employment”