Norwich International Airport is planning to launch a major initiative to promote skills training apprenticeships in the aviation industry, Norwich Evening News 24 has reported.
Launched in partnership with KLM UK Engineering, the academy will provide a centre of excellence for education and skills training in aviation, delivered in partnership with the region’s education groups and local authorities. The new state of the art Aviation Academy is part of the airport’s expansion plans and follows its aeropark project.
The academy is supported by a core group of founding partners, including the University of East Anglia, the TEN Group, New Anglia local enterprise partnership, EAGIT training, Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council. It will be based at the airport site, and will be equipped to provide training to 40 apprentices at any given time.
The Academy aims to create a ‘real world’ learning environment that includes a full size aeroplane, and to raise the standards of learning using innovative teaching techniques. It will focus on offering a broad education and skills training in aviation that will attract both local and international students.
Andrew Bell, chief executive of Norwich International Airport, said: ‘One of the Airport’s core strategic objectives is to become a thriving centre of excellence in the aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul business. This objective is core to the airport’s long-term sustainability for the benefit of the region, at a time when many regional airports across Europe are struggling and some are closing their doors for good. To achieve this objective the Airport must be able to offer the complete package to attract new business.’
Paul Chun, managing director of KLM UK Engineering, said: ‘The integral approach with education experts, local government and industry is an ideal start for success. I am very excited about the Norwich International Aviation Academy, it will position Norwich firmly on the aviation industry map. To interest future generations for jobs in aviation is crucial for a sustainable growth for our industry’.
Norwich North MP, Chloe Smith, said: ‘This is a good move and very important for Norwich. As founder of Norwich For Jobs, which is backed by KLM UK Engineering and 50 other firms so far, I strongly support the proposals for an aeropark, which could create thousands of jobs in the local economy. To do that, we need more skilled engineers and the aviation academy will show we can do this in Norwich. I applaud the partners for working together to achieve this. I’d urge people interested in a great career to sign up.’