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It's A First' As Minister Opens New Jobs And Skills Academy

20 Oct 2008

With the green light just given for airport expansion at Stansted, a focus was today thrown on the opportunities that exist for jobs and skills training across over 180 companies located at the airport.

With over 12,000 jobs already in place, and a further 4,000 in prospect as Stansted expands to 35m passengers a year, Regional Minister for the East of England Barbara Follett MP visited the airport to open a new Employment and Skills Academy, the first of its kind at any BAA airport.

BAA is to invest £250,0001 over the next four years, in a trailblazing partnership with Urban Futures, a regeneration company, to bring a 'one-stop-shop' employment agency to the heart of the airport operation.

Stansted Airport managing director, Stewart Wingate said:

"Today is all about making the link between those who want to work at the airport, the skills that are required, and the exciting job opportunities available.

"As the biggest single site employer in the region, with over 180 companies on-site, Stansted already plays a vital role in economic growth within our region. Vital to success are the links we have with employers, unions, local authorities and education providers, who together support and grow the airport workforce.

"Already, over 1,000 job seekers have visited the Academy for help with finding a job or to sign-up to a wide range of training programmes. And everyone is very excited about the prospect of new jobs coming on stream, particularly in the current economic downturn."

Steve Delaney, Acting Chief Executive of Urban Futures - managing agents for the Stansted Employment & Skills Academy - said:

"Today represents a hugely exciting opportunity for the Academy as we build on the service offer for employers and individuals seeking work or new career opportunities at the airport.

"Working in partnership with BAA, airport employers, and public agencies, we aim to ensure that the Academy is at the forefront of skills development, bringing a quality new service driven by the economic requirements of employers but tailored to individuals' needs. The Academy will represent the interface between all agencies, individuals and employers at the airport."

1 £250,000 comprises £200k from Stansted Airport Limited and £50k from BAA Communities Trust

Notes to editors

Barbara Follett MP was at Stansted as host of the 'East of England Debate on the Talent Challenge', organised by Business In The Community (BITC) at the airport's Hilton Hotel and sponsored by BAA as its annual employment forum.

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