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Gatwick completes first programme to provide jobs for local residents

The programme provides candidates from Crawley and Croydon with skill based work experience and volunteering.

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Image: Byline John Nguyen/JNVisuals

Fourteen unemployed residents from Crawley and Croydon have completed London Gatwick’s new programme to help them gain employment at the airport, primarily in baggage handling and retail based roles, while a further four people are currently awaiting final interviews.

The ‘One Destination Employability’ programme provides a three-week course for candidates to gain general skills and training required to work for one of the many employers based at the airport.

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The course also includes completing skill based volunteering with the airport’s charity partner St Catherine’s Hospice and some extra modules delivered by the Gatwick Airport training team.

Gatwick has partnered with local job centres, Employ Crawley and Croydon Works to select suitable candidates for the programme who are then enrolled onto the course which is made up of modules chosen by a pool of employers. These cover everything from working as a team to time management and health & wellbeing in the workplace.

On completion of the programme candidates are awarded a Level 1 certificate in Employability from the Northern Council for Further Education (NCFE), which is a nationally recognised qualification. Further courses are also being launched for residents in West Kent and Brighton in the coming months.

Gatwick Airport and other businesses on the Gatwick campus directly generate £1.6 billion in the local economy and 24,000 jobs. The airport’s impact in the Gatwick Diamond area – including supply chain activity and spending in the local area – rises to £2.3 billion and 36,000 jobs. This is around 10% of the total economic activity in the Gatwick Diamond area, and one in every 12 jobs.

Gatwick’s employment and skills programme also includes headline sponsorship of this year’s Big Bang Fair South East in Ardingly on June 27 and 28. The event is the UK’s biggest regional celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to help raise its status as an aspirational career path among young people.

Gatwick’s Head of Community Engagement, Alison Addy, said:

We are pleased to have helped a number of local people get back into full time employment and provide them with the skills necessary to succeed in a career at Gatwick.

“As one of the largest employers in the region, Gatwick is fully committed to providing the job opportunities and training required for a wide range of roles at the airport.”

Croydon Works Manager, Adhnan Ahmed, said:

“Our main aim is to work with residents who are either struggling to find employment or are looking to progress on from their current role, so the key to our success is employers who are invested in our vision and are able to offer us a wide range of roles. So we were really excited when Gatwick contacted us about the employability course dedicated to Croydon residents.

“It’s great because it allows us to send residents from all backgrounds without having to go through the traditional recruitment process, which some residents may struggle with, while offering genuine sustainable jobs on completion. Its exciting times for Croydon residents and we look forward to continuing this successful relationship.”

Sherene Campbell from Croydon said:

“Starting the course was a direction worth taking. It has allowed me to find my inner strength and taught me to truly believe in myself no matter what lies ahead. Throughout the entire process I was fortunate enough to meet some great people and a tutor who had supported me all the way. I cannot wait to do my best and am very enthusiastic and eager to start work for World Duty Free. Thank you for this opportunity.”

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Former Horsham Council CEO appointed as Chair for GATCOM

New Chair brings substantial experience of chairing committees and similar bodies locally and across the South East.

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New Chair of GATCOM, Tom Crowley.

Tom Crowley – the former Chief Executive of Horsham District Council – has been appointed as the new Chair of Gatwick Airport’s Consultative Committee (GATCOM) – the statutory, independent advisory body and ‘critical friend’ of the airport, it was announced today.

Tom will take up his new role in January 2019 – for a minimum of period of four years – and brings with him substantial experience chairing committees and similar bodies locally and across the South East region. He is also currently Chair of Empty Homes – a national research and campaigning charity – and a Governor of the Chichester College Group.

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Before his appointment as Horsham’s Chief Executive in 2005, Tom held senior management roles at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Arun District Council.

In its 62 year history, the 28-strong committee has maintained an independent and unbiased approach in its overarching objective, which is to ensure the future success of Gatwick Airport, while paying particular regard to the impact it has on the surrounding communities and the environment.

The outgoing Chair – Dr John Godfrey – will leave his role in December 2018 after announcing his retirement after eleven years in post. His achievements during this period have been described by Stewart Wingate – Gatwick’s CEO – as ‘considerable’ and include leading the committee through the sale of the airport by BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009.

John also steered GATCOM through major challenges such as the public consultations on a second runway and the airport’s master plan, through the use of and changes to flight paths, the establishment of the Gatwick Noise Management Board and helped to generate support to secure enhanced rail services to the airport.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said:

“I congratulate and look forward to working closely with Tom in his new role as Chair. This post is fundamental to the strength of GATCOM and the committee plays a key role advising me and my senior team about issues of concern to our local communities or that impact the local environment.

“I would also like to express my personal gratitude to Dr John Godfrey for dedicating over a decade to the role. I very much value his contribution to GATCOM and his achievements during his tenure have been considerable and have helped shape the direction the airport.”

Dr John Godfrey, outgoing GATCOM Chair, said:

“I join Stewart in congratulating Tom on his appointment and wish him well in his new role. GATCOM acts as a bridge between the airport management and all the various agencies and interests which make up the wider community which the airport serves. Tom’s background and experience equip him to make a major contribution to the important work of the UK’s leading airport consultative committee.”

Tom Crowley, incoming GATCOM Chair, said:

“I am delighted to have been selected for this important position. Having lived and worked locally for almost forty years I am acutely aware of the economic benefits that Gatwick brings but I also appreciate that the airport’s development and operation generates significant environmental impacts.

“GATCOM plays a vital role in representing the interests of those who benefit from and are affected by the airport and it provides an effective forum to promote constructive dialogue with Gatwick’s senior managers.”

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