Airport training course on a high as applications soar

As far as pilot schemes go, it has sent the hopes of budding airport workers sky high.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 18th October 2011, 1:15 pm

Stevenson College has been inundated with applications for a new airport training course that will guarantee students a job interview at the end.

Course leaders are now having to assess whether they can take on more students than originally planned for the 12-week scheme that will train future baggage handlers and check-in staff for Servisair, the ground services company.

Marie McGuckin, part of the college’s business development unit, said: “In the first two days of the course being announced we had about 40 applications. It’s been a phenomenal response.

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“If we had the resources it may mean we could take on more than one course, but I am not sure if that is possible. We are going to have to take advice from Servisair.”

The course, which is officially to have places for 20 people, is a first for Stevenson College and aims to buck the recession trend by guaranteeing those who successfully complete the scheme an interview for ground staff jobs at Edinburgh Airport.

Training will cover the likes of ticketing, check-in, passenger boarding and arrivals, as well as work shadowing at the airport for two full days.

Students will leave the course with certified training in “airport services and ground operations”, but there are also plans to introduce the training into full-time travel and tourism courses at the college, if the pilot scheme is a success.

Ms McGuckin said: “Servisair came to us last year to talk about the possibility of running the training. They do similar schemes in England and have worked with James Watt College for something similar at Glasgow Airport.

“It has been successful for people getting jobs.”

The course begins on November 22 and will take place on Tuesday evenings with a view to employment beginning in March 2012. Applications are invited by the beginning of November at the latest.

Ms McGuckin said: “We do not know at this stage how many jobs will actually be available at the end of the course. It will depend on Servisair.

“It is going to be very difficult to select the final students.”

Alison Chambers, associate principal for business, administration and languages, added: “The Servisair award is a great addition to Stevenson’s portfolio and we’re delighted to be able to offer an opportunity that is directly linked with jobs, particularly in this difficult climate.

“Airports are exciting environments to work in and this course will give people a significant advantage in securing a job.”

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