Last year level three students on the Aviation Operations programme visited East Midlands Airport on several occasions and staff at EMA were so impressed with their enthusiasm and interest that they have worked with the College to establish a more formal partnership.
Students now have regular visits to the Airport – gaining special access behind the scenes to learn more about the work in areas such as customer service, security and airside operations.
They will benefit from work experience at the Airport and also have guest lectures from senior managers and employees with specialist knowledge to gain a greater insight into operational matters.
EMA has an extensive education programme through their on-site education centre, the Aerozone – welcoming students from a wide range of local schools.
As part of the programme, Derby College students will also be working with pupils from Farnborough Academy in Clifton, Nottingham – supporting them in a customer service role play project that they will be working on at the Airport.
They will also help at EMA's Big Jobs Fair in January which is attended by thousands of people who are keen to apply for a wide range of job opportunities at the Airport.
Colleen Hempson, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at East Midlands Airport, said: "East Midlands Airport is committed to working with young people, highlighting the diverse opportunities available in this industry and supporting them in their career aspirations.
"We opened our Education Centre several years ago which welcomes over 3,000 young people every year.
"The Derby College students came on several visits last year and were a huge help in meeting and greeting people who attended our 'Big Job Fair' last January and we're looking forward to them doing the same at the next one.
"It soon became clear just how different these young people were. They look and act in a very professional manner and have a greater level engagement and interest in this industry.
"As well as supporting young people this makes good sense for our business – developing a talent pipeline for the short, medium and longer term."
Among the students included in the Partnership is Shannon Kirby (19) from Ripley. She said: "This is a brilliant opportunity to learn and gain experience first hand of a wide range of job roles at East Midlands Airport.
"My plans at the moment are to work as a holiday rep and then look for a job in security so this is a great chance to me to boost my CV."
Euan James (16) from Uttoxeter added: "I joined the course so that I could find out about all the different careers at airports and feel very fortunate that we have the chance to see behind the scenes at East Midlands Airport. I hope it will give me a head start when applying for jobs after College."
April Hayhurst, Derby College's Deputy Principal - Employer and Economic Affairs, concluded: "This is an amazing opportunity for our students and we are extremely grateful for the commitment shown by East Midlands Airport.
"We work with nearly 3,000 employers across a wide range of industries who provide all kinds of support from work experience and site visits to guest lectures and mentoring.
"These forward-thinking businesses and organisations recognise that, by developing students' work skills and attitudes, we can support individuals into jobs and address skills shortages in the workplace."