The Heathrow Skills Taskforce has opened a six-week open forum in the UK to receive independent views on the future education, employment and skills strategy of the airport.

Comprising 14 members, the taskforce is seeking the best way to capitalise on careers and skills opportunities expected to be generated through the expansion of the airport.

Through the open forum, the airport intends to gather the opinion of the widest range of educational stakeholders and the ones with experience in building infrastructure across the country.

The taskforce will collect feedback from the online forum to identify the best teaching, employment and career progression opportunities that would help enhance social mobility and diversity at Heathrow Airport.

Views collected will be included in the taskforce’s final set of recommendations, which are slated to be given to the airport by the end of 2018.

The online forum is based on the commitments Heathrow has already made to unions, which include expansion of the airport to generate up to 180,000 new job opportunities, including 10,000 apprenticeships, across the UK; offering quality careers for local people; and addressing current environmental and noise requirements.

"The Heathrow Skills Taskforce has brought forward the scale of the challenge in meeting the skill demands to deliver major infrastructure projects."

Heathrow Skills Taskforce member Gail Cartmail said: “The Heathrow Skills Taskforce has brought forward the scale of the challenge in meeting the skill demands to deliver major infrastructure projects.

“Pivotal is the role good-quality ‘earn as you learn’ apprenticeships will play in shaping the UK’s future workforce and the role major projects play in ensuring delivery through their supply chains.”

The airport is also committed to boost the UK industry by working with trade unions, steel producers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the country.

The Heathrow expansion is expected to create up to 77,000 additional local jobs and offer 5,000 new apprenticeships, with 10,000 offered by 2030.


Image: New online forum open for six weeks will seek independent ideas on the skills and employment strategy for Heathrow expansion. Photo: courtesy of LHR Airports Limited.