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Nurturing Tomorrow’s Aviators: The Transformative Power Of Apprenticeships At British Airways

Nurturing Tomorrow's Aviators: The Transformative Power Of Apprenticeships At British Airways

The theme for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is Skills for Life – a phrase that also feels very fitting for the approach we take to our apprenticeship programmes at British Airways.

This week it was fantastic to see 40 of our apprentices work together to successfully dispatch flight BA43 from London Heathrow to Cape Town, South Africa.

From conducting vital engineering pre-flight safety checks to supporting 300 customers at our check-in and boarding gates and ensuring their bags were safely on board, the flight was a real milestone moment for our airline and the wider aviation sector – a flight departure powered almost entirely by skilled apprentices.

Giving people the chance to boost their skills, qualifications and experience is exactly what apprenticeships are all about.

And in the fast-moving world of aviation, the role of apprenticeships cannot be overstated.

For British Airways, investing in these programmes is not just a corporate responsibility, but something that fosters innovation, growth and development to equip the next generation of talent with the skills needed to succeed.

All of our apprentices are given a comprehensive understanding of the airline’s operations; from delivering a premium service for our customers or working in ground operations, right through to the variety of roles at our Heathrow HQ; apprentices are exposed to every part of the airline’s ecosystem.

That detailed overview of the business gives them the grounding to kick-on and succeed with us, just as so many have before them.

And they progress because they bring a fresh perspective, contributing brilliant ideas to our business. This is partly down to how our scheme extends beyond technical skills, encompassing soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability – all essential attributes for long-term career growth.

It’s clearly an attractive model for young people. We’re seeing record numbers of apprentices opt for a career in aviation since the pandemic and our apprenticeship programme, now in its 13th year, has seen a 75 per cent increase in applicants compared to 2022, with 4,500 applying last year.

And as a result, we’re offering more apprenticeship places to people than ever before.

This really does speak volumes and highlights the growing interest and recognition of apprenticeship schemes as a valuable pathway to develop a successful career.

And for anyone that does have an interest in being a British Airways apprentice; as our flight to Cape Town this week has shown – the sky really is the limit for you.

By Lisa Tremble, Chief People, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer

To learn more about our graduate and apprenticeship schemes, visit our dedicated careers page here.

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