New security staff at Newcastle International Airport are flying high after completing training funded through the Go>Grow scheme in partnership with Gateshead College.
The group of 35 newly qualified security officers are set to take up various roles around the airport as it gears up to cater for millions of passengers, who will be jetting off to dozens of overseas locations and holiday destinations over the next few months.
The work undertaken by the security officers will involve flight departure security, including inspecting boarding cards, carrying-out passenger screening and operating x-ray equipment used to check luggage.
They will also be patrolling critical landside and airside areas, checking on passenger welfare and supporting customer services staff.
People who complete the training will receive a Department for Transport approved certificate, providing them with an industry recognised qualification that provides a skills passport to undertake future aviation security work at Newcastle, or any other UK airport.
The initiative has been funded through the Go>Grow scheme, a regional skills and enterprise programme being delivered in partnership with 30 local training providers. It was launched after Gateshead College secured £15m of funding from the European Social Fund through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
The largest airport in the North East, Newcastle supports more than 15,000 jobs, including 3,500 on site. In 2017, almost five and a half million customers passed through its doors, flying off to more than 80 direct destinations or many more worldwide through the airport’s hub network.
HR advisor at Newcastle International Craig McManus, said: “With passenger safety and security paramount, it’s critically important to have highly trained officers in place.
“Being able to benefit from Go>Grow funding has been excellent. It supports our operational needs from a recruitment perspective, while helping us to upskill those keen to pursue a longer-term career in aviation security at the airport.”
Go>Grow, which has the backing of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the North East of England Chamber of Commerce, sees experts develop training that meets individual needs of businesses. It also offers those who wouldn’t ordinarily undertake training programmes, the opportunity to access bespoke training.
A tailor-made programme is then developed and delivered at any of the Go>Grow training provider sites, or within the premises of the individual businesses.
Ivan Jepson, director of business development at Gateshead College, said: “Newcastle Airport is a terrific example of an organisation that has taken advantage of funding to support their specialised training needs.
“The airport approached us with a specific training requirement and we were able to utilise the Go>Grow funding to meet its business needs.
“The programme is a fantastic initiative which is equipping people with new skills, helping contribute to improved productivity and, ultimately, supporting the economic prosperity of the North East over the next few years.”