Staff and students at Stansted Airport College were recently given the opportunity to showcase their skills as the College hosted a visit by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, in her role as Patron of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK - CILT(UK). The visit celebrated nearly four years of innovative learning at the College and the contribution its graduates are making to the Industry.
CILT(UK) is the chartered body for professionals involved in the movement of goods and people and their associated supply chains, bringing together the areas of logistics, the movement of people, transport planning, supply chain management and sustainability.
As the Aviation Industry continues to bounce back from the pandemic, the College finds itself at the heart of this recovery, with successful students taking up skilled roles in areas such as flight operations, cabin crew, airside and landside operations, security, aircraft dispatch and air traffic control.
During the visit The Princess Royal, along with dignitaries including Managing Director of London Stansted Airport, Steve Griffiths; the Chairman of CILT(UK), Alan Jones and the Vice Lord Lieutenant for Essex, Vincent Thompson, took a tour of the campus, visiting key areas that highlight the upskilling that is so important to the Aviation Industry’s recovery.
First stop was the Engineering Workshop where students’ work in aeronautical and maintenance operations engineering was being showcased. Then onto the Skills Kitchen where students demonstrated their work in hospitality and events management. The tour concluded with a visit to the Cabin Crew Room where the entourage were given a practical demonstration of the safety aspects undertaken by air crew.
Following the campus tour, The Princess Royal presented three students with special awards for excellence before unveiling a plaque commemorating the visit.
The Princess Royal commented: “From CILT’s perspective, the aspect of getting education and training in the right places at the right time has always been a challenge, so finding places like this is a wonderful example for CILT to support and promote because we see that as really adding value to everybody, particularly those who come here as students and also to local employers.
“It’s a pleasure to catch up with you at last and congratulations on what you’ve achieved so far and I certainly look forward to other people taking a very active interest in what you’re doing here and possibly expanding the concept further afield.”
Alan Jones, Chairman of CILT(UK), spoke about the role the College plays in the local jobs sector: “In my role as Chair of CILT I couldn’t be prouder of what’s been achieved tonight. CILT is very much into education, not only in the UK but around the world and trying to raise standards for transport logistics and across all spectrums of transport. I’d like to thank the college because it’s a magnificent example after four years to have 500 students with jobs on their doorstep. It’s fantastic!”
Steve Griffiths, Managing Director of London Stansted Airport, said: “To date, Stansted Airport has enjoyed the fastest recovery from the pandemic of all major UK airports. Just last month our passenger numbers were up 125% compared to 12 months ago. With our recovery fully on track this year, this is a perfect time to consider a career in aviation.
“I’m particularly proud of what Karen (Spencer) and the team here achieve at Stansted Airport College – it's a great initiative that we as a business have been really proud to support. All of the apprentices in the last cohort have successfully achieved jobs across the airport campus, and that’s a great achievement. It’s the only college I know that you can look out the window and see your career across the runway.”
Karen Spencer MBE, Principal of Harlow College and Stansted Airport College, said of the visit: “The visit was a fabulous experience for our students, who not only got to showcase their professional talent but to speak to the Princess Royal about their career aspirations. The Logistics and Transport Industries are large employers and key to the UK’s economic future - we are delighted to be recognised by CILT’s Patron as a centre of innovation for education and training.”
Stansted Airport College is the first Aviation College in the country at a major UK airport and the visit only served to underline the positive impact it has on local students and employers tackling the aviation logistics skills shortages.