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Gatwick takes the airport to schools with new initiative

London Gatwick has launched a new initiative to take the airport to schools across Kent, Surrey and Sussex with 15 schools from across Kent attending the first roadshow at Hadlow Rural Community School, near Tonbridge, on 28th March.

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The roadshows are designed to give exclusive insights into the aviation industry and form part of Gatwick’s local engagement programme which promotes the study of STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – subjects.

Over 500 pupils, aged between 13 and 15, attended the Kent event and took part in 12 different STEM-related activities such as marshalling in a plane and learning about the work the Gatwick team do on the airport’s land holdings.

The roadshows link the STEM subjects with relevant job possibilities at the airport and are a way of encouraging and nurturing talent for the future. easyJet, DHL and the Royal Aeronautical society also took part in the roadshow to help provide students the widest possible insight into the various areas of the aviation industry. 

Paula Aldridge, Community Engagement Manager, London Gatwick, said:

“We are delighted that the schools share our ambition to inspire young people to work in STEM industries. Our aim is to inform, invest and inspire and we have created this first roadshow with these three principles at the forefront of our minds.

“We are so grateful to Hadlow Rural Community School for hosting the event- we hope we returned their generosity by putting on a truly inspirational and successful event.”

Simon Harris, Enterprise Coordinator, West Kent Partnership, said:

“The West Kent Enterprise Adviser Network is delighted that Gatwick agreed to come across to West Kent and deliver this exceptional event. It was great to see people who love their jobs telling more than 600 young people why they do so.

“We have already heard from some of the schools and they were greatly impressed with the interactive nature of the event and report that a number of students now have fresh and exciting new career aspirations.”

Mark Nichols, Director of Standards and English Teacher, Hadlow Rural Community School said before the event:

“I’ve worked in schools for nigh on 10 years – to host an event such as this is beyond precedent. The benefits to be had by pupils attending will be huge!

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Gatwick Airport to receive £8 million Government grant to protect local jobs and bounce back after coronavirus

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Crawley’s MP Henry Smith has welcomed an announcement from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps that Gatwick Airport is now able to apply for a Government grant worth up to £8 million per business, helping to protect jobs and the local economy in Crawley.

The Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme, which opened on Friday 29th January, will help Gatwick (and other commercial airports across England) to cover losses on costs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including airfield operations, contracted services such as airfield and runway maintenance, and business rate bills.

Airports and ground handlers can apply to the scheme on GOV.UK, and if successful, should receive their funding by the end of the financial year.

The financial support scheme, which follows the Government’s extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme, is open for applications until 21st February 2021.

This investment will help support Gatwick Airport following the introduction of international travel restrictions designed to protect public health and prevent the spread of Covid-19 as the Government continues to roll out its world-leading vaccination programme.

Henry said;

“I’m pleased that Gatwick Airport will receive up to £8 million to help it protect jobs during these challenging times.

“This funding offers vital support for Gatwick Airport – which supports so many jobs and businesses in Crawley.

“The Government has provided unprecedented levels of support to protect jobs and businesses through the pandemic, and this latest support will be hugely important for helping Crawley to build back better after coronavirus.

“As Crawley MP and Chair of the Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group I’ve continued to urge Government to ensure support for the industry and this will remain my call to ministers.”

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, commented;

“A thriving aviation industry has been central to the success of this country and while we recognise the testing conditions airports are currently facing as a result of the pandemic, I believe that the sector will be ready to bounce back once restrictions are lifted.

“Today’s scheme is another step in the right direction, providing vital support for an industry that is raring to get back to business, once it is safe to do so.”

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