British Airways' Apprentices Prepare for Lift-off

A team of nine British Airways’ apprentices, based at Heathrow, has been selected as a finalist of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2014.

This prestigious nationwide award recognises, among other attributes, achievement in team building and communication, both essential skills for those starting out in their careers.

After three months of competition between more than 100 teams of apprentices from around the country, eight teams were selected as finalists for impressing the judges with their energy, enthusiasm and commitment.

The British Airways team was commended for its voluntary work at Orione Care, a home for older people in Kingston, and organising a community project at the Willow Tree Centre in Harefield which involved clearing land and planting trees following a storm.  The team also attended several careers fairs and spoke at schools in order to promote the value of apprenticeships and the benefits of the British Airways scheme to school leavers.

Francesca Catling, 19, from Hillingdon, a member of the apprentice team, said:  “I am thrilled that we’ve been chosen to compete in the final of the Brathay Challenge.  Joining the British Airways’ apprenticeship scheme has been a very valuable experience for me and reaching the final of the competition is the icing on the cake. I would encourage other school leavers to investigate the opportunities offered by apprenticeships – it’s really allowed my career to take-off!”

In a final push to show-case their organisational skills and raise money for Comic Relief, the British Airways team has organised a comedy event at the Concorde Club in Cranford on May 23.  Eastenders’ Shane Ritchie will be hosting the event that features, among others, the talents of Tim Vine.

The competition culminates in a series of team building, logistical and physical challenges at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters where the apprentice team of the year will be announced on June 11.

In 2014 British Airways will employ 185 apprentices across the business, with areas ranging from engineering and operations, to IT, finance and project management.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ CEO said:  “Apprenticeships are a fantastic way or providing young people with a combination of on-the-job training and theoretical education.  They are a great foundation for a whole range of skilled careers at British Airways and we are proud to offer them, and proud of our team for reaching this year’s Brathay Apprenticeship final.”

Since 2010, more than 500 students have begun an apprenticeship, with many graduating to permanent roles with the airline.  The airline is always keen to encourage more young people to apply for apprenticeships:  more information can be found at www.ba.com/careers.


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