A scheme designed to help local people into work has reached a major milestone, placing its 500th recruit into a job.
Take Off Into Work was launched by London City Airport, Newham Council’s Workplace and the East London Business Alliance in 2009, providing work experience, trials and classroom-based training to Newham residents aged over 16, with the opportunity to secure employment with London City Airport or one of its many onsite partners.
The latest government figures show that more people are in work in the UK now than at any other time since 2008, and with 500 people having found work through Take Off Into Work since its inception, the scheme is a shining example of the important role the private sector can play in helping people into employment.
Successful candidates have secured jobs in departments across the airport including Customer Services, Security, Airfield Operations and HR, as well as with other onsite employers including airline cabin crew, passenger handling, foreign exchange bureau, duty free retail and cafe and restaurant outlets.
Anthony Angol joined London City Airport through Take Off Into Work in 2010 as a customer services officer. He now works in the airport’s CSR team, leading on training and employment programmes with the local community, including running the Take Off Into Work scheme itself.
He said: “Living locally, I overheard somebody talking about a scheme at the airport that had helped him to find a job. I asked him about it, applied and was successful. Five years later I now manage the scheme that got me here in the first place, and there are hundreds more stories like mine. London City is an international airport but it has never lost its heart as a local East End business. Take Off Into Work gave me a chance and opened doors that would have been closed to me otherwise.”
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham was a driving force behind the scheme’s implementation. Commenting on the milestone he said: “With London City Airport and the council’s employment service Workplace, our residents have had a unique opportunity to get into careers they may never have even dreamed of.
"We know that the best way of helping our residents to build their resilience and succeed is to give them the opportunity to learn the skills needed to get into employment. Working with the borough's flagship employers we have helped more than 26,000 people get into work in since 2008. I'm delighted London City Airport has helped 500 people take off into work, and we look forward to continuing this success in years to come."
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport said: “As one of the largest employers in Newham, the airport is extremely proud to have been able to help 500 local residents into employment. Jobs, training and education are the key pillars of our commitment to the community and Take Off Into Work is our flagship scheme. Aviation is an extremely exciting industry to work in, jobs can follow many different paths, and I look forward to following the careers of our successful candidates as they develop.”