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London Gatwick Airport’s education programmes reach more than 70,000 students across Sussex and beyond

September 19, 2023

Gatwick said it has been providing an ‘extensive package of career-related support’ because it recognises the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

The airport said that the package has been ‘steered by colleagues from engineering, alongside IT, cyber security, innovation and construction teams’.

Melanie Wrightson, London Gatwick’s stakeholder engagement manager, said: “We have a proud record of providing local young people with support and opportunities, which forms part of our sustainability policy, Decade of Change. We want to engage and inspire the next generation to build their skills and be able to access the amazing opportunities at Gatwick, especially with so many local people employed at the airport, including in key STEM roles.”

Over the past academic year, Gatwick’s STEM education delivery team have led on virtual events, airport visits and in-school talks, as well as workshops and practical labs. The airport also developed partnerships with organisations like Engineering Tomorrow, Gatwick Greenspace Partnership and EVERFI from Blackbaud to create learning opportunities.

Gatwick has delivered a Solar Electric Vehicle workshop for year 10 students at Sackville School in East Grinstead thanks to EVERFI’s Endeavour schools programme. Some 30 students at St Wilfrid’s in Crawley also got a careers talk.

Gatwick aims to provide more career sessions with EVERFI at Leigh Academy, Tonbridge and Willingdon School in Eastbourne, while delivering more monthly Careers Live broadcasts and virtual career discovery workshops. There are also plans to relaunch an app-based mentoring initiative with Brightside, who help improve students’ self-confidence and career prospects, Gatwick said. Some 25 volunteers from various airport departments will mentor 100 local students on a 12-week programme, sharing their skills and industry insights.

Brightside mentor George, London Gatwick, said: “My experience of the Brightside Mentoring has been very positive. I felt like the mentee I had engaged with me well and gained value from our conversations. It felt good being able to assist someone and guide them with some big decisions.”