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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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Gatwick

Gatwick launches UK’s first electric car sharing service

The 100% electric vehicles produce zero emissions which supports Gatwick’s carbon neutral status.

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Ten 'Blue City' electric cars on Gatwick's airfield.

In a UK airport first, passengers, staff and local residents can now reserve and pick up a 100% electric car at Gatwick – and return it to any of 300 compatible pick up/ drop off points across London or back at Gatwick – the airport announced yesterday.

The service – similar to schemes popular in other parts of the world – is being rolled out in partnership with Bluecity, the only company to operate a pan-London electric vehicle car sharing service with 100 cars currently available in total.

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Discussions are also ongoing with local authorities and business groups about expanding the network further in London and in areas surrounding the airport.

Operating in a similar way to existing cycle schemes across the capital, ten cars and charging points are currently available on Gatwick’s South Terminal forecourt. This is Bluecity’s first airport hub and discussions are in progress to increase capacity.

The new point to point service gives people using the airport a convenient, zero emissions travel option for getting directly on and off the airport and is purposely designed to be easy to locate and use, with customers able to reserve a car in seconds via the Bluecity app.

Local residents are also encouraged to use the service and Gatwick staff have also been offered the opportunity to trial the service for free.

A standard journey in a Bluecity car from central London is also an affordable travel option to the airport. The four-seater’s drive from Central London to the very front of the airport will cost around £15 in moderate traffic.

The service is also flexible and works both ways, so that those travelling to Gatwick from the capital can pick up a car at any of the London-based charging points and drop it off at the airport.

Car sharing is also growing in popularity in the UK and this new partnership represents another first in Gatwick’s journey to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. Gatwick is accredited as a carbon neutral airport, uses 100% renewable electricity and 44% of passengers currently get to the airport by public transport.

The 24,000 staff on Gatwick’s airport campus and local residents are also being encouraged to use the new electric car sharing service.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said:

“Gatwick leads the way on airport innovation and this UK airport first not only offers a new, flexible option for getting on and off the airport, it also improves air quality.

“When it comes to electric car sharing schemes, few companies have experienced the success of Bluecity and its parent company. Given the popular demand for similar electric car sharing services in other parts of the world, this new service has the potential to take off in the UK and we are proud to be at the forefront of this transport revolution.”

Bluecity’s Managing Director Christophe Arnaud said:

“We are particularly proud of this milestone agreement with Gatwick Airport and look forward to our collaboration for years to come. We believe this new service is a fantastic solution for travellers. Our cars are powered exclusively with 100% renewable energy making the service the greenest and most affordable transport option to and from Central London.”

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