Newcastle International Airport and the Newcastle College Aviation Academy have hosted a visit from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
BIS is the UK government department responsible for driving balanced and sustainable growth. Through its Outreach programme, BIS encourages its employees to spend time with and learn from the people and organisations affected by government policies.
The group of eight members of staff visited the airport to find out more about the wide range of training options on offer across the site. Training takes place at the Newcastle College Aviation Academy located at the airport and at the Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy, which has over 20 years of experience working with businesses across the UK and beyond. The visitors were also able to experience Newcastle’s state-of-the-art Emirates Air Traffic Control Tower.
The party started the day at Newcastle College where they met with Principal Carole Kitching and Tim Jacklin, Head of the college’s Aviation Academy. They received a tour of the £3.3 million facility, which includes a fully functional Boeing 737 and state of the art workshops featuring industry standard equipment such as hydraulics, landing gear, pneumatics and electronics.
Andy Stephenson, Director of the School of Construction, Engineering and Science at Newcastle College, said: “We very much welcomed the opportunity to host the team from BIS and to demonstrate how our strong partnership with Newcastle International Airport is helping to revitalise the aviation industry in the North East. Developing high quality training and skills is vital to support future growth across the aviation and engineering sectors. Working with employers like the airport, our aim is to provide opportunities for young people to build long term careers and gain the skills that we know employers desperately need.”
BIS staff were then given a tour of the Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy, which is based at the Airport Fire Station. The academy is a world-class facility delivering training, both practical and classroom based, across a range of sectors. Training equipment includes a 767 aircraft fire simulator, Puma helicopter, helipad, fire screen and oil, gas and marine training facilities.
Peter Snell, General Manager Airside Operations at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re delighted that the group from BIS took the time to visit Newcastle International Airport and the Newcastle College Aviation Academy. We work closely in partnership with the college to develop skills in aviation and offer a range of training options for those entering the sector. In addition to our work with the college we also operate the Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy which offers Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) accredited courses for businesses across the UK – including other airports!
“We are dedicated to providing high quality training across a variety of sectors to ensure the knowledge and skills we have here at Newcastle is shared with learners. Aviation is a unique environment and it’s vital that those working in the sector have access to quality training programmes.”
Sue Houston, OBE, Business Relationship Manager, BIS YHNE, said: “Our Outreach programme visits help us build relationships and enhance our understanding of those whom our policies affect so we understand their specific interests. Ideally, closer and more effective joint working will result and what we learn can be fed in to evidence-based policy-making.
“We have been treated to a unique opportunity to see the collaboration between Newcastle College, through their Aviation Academy, and Newcastle International Airport. My colleagues and I were interested to understand how the college and airport met the business needs of the sector.
“This visit gave us tremendous insight into ways in which the college and Newcastle Airport develop and deliver training together offering students, and potential students from schools, a range of qualifications leading to jobs across the sector. Both facilities make significant contributions to further growth in the regional and national economy. Our day was complete when we visited the airport control tower and went inside a plane used for firefighting training.”
The Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy offers a wide range of training for local and national businesses and has also helped to train other airports from across the UK and beyond. It offers practical and classroom based learning such as fire training, airside operations, health and safety, first aid and more.
In 2013 the airport also launched Offshore Training Newcastle (OTN), a new partnership with Maersk and Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS) delivering training for those working, or aspiring to work in the offshore oil and gas sector.
Newcastle College Aviation Academy is a CAA approved training facility providing higher level training and skills for the aviation engineering industry. The academy has around 200 learners studying Aeronautical Engineering from Level 3 to Foundation Degree, developed and validated by the college; and a BSc in Aircraft Engineering, which is delivered in partnership with Kingston University. Thanks to the close working relationship that the college has developed with Newcastle International Airport and many of its operators, work placements and on the job training is incorporated into the higher level courses.