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Newham schools compete to suggest new destinations and gain hands-on work experience


Students from Eastlea Community School and Cumberland School in Newham will receive 1-to-1 business mentoring from London City Airport staff following a competitive exercise to propose a new destination for the airport.

The Eastlea team took the top spot for their proposal to add services to Ostrava in Croatia with runners-up Cumberland School suggesting a route to Helsinki, Finland. The competition was part of the airport’s inaugural Future Prospects programme, an innovative school work experience initiative.

Twenty finalists, aged 14-15, will get a week of work experience at the airport - including students from Forest Gate Community School, Sarah Bonnell School, and The Royal Docks Community School. The Eastlea winners also each picked up a £100 Westfield shopping voucher.

Anthony Angol, Senior CSR Executive at London City Airport, said: “We were incredibly impressed by the pupils who participated in London City Airport’s first Future Prospects programme. The finalists excelled at responding to a challenging brief, and all 80 students developed their skills and had the opportunity to consider their career paths. We look forward to welcoming the finalists back for their week of work experience, some of whom may even choose to return here one day as an employee.” 

The 2016 Future Prospects programme, delivered in collaboration with Stratford-based careers advice company 15billion-ebp, tasked groups of students to choose a new airport destination and make a professional business case for the route.

Ian Porter, Chief Executive, 15billion-ebp, said:

“Future Prospects underlines London City Airport’s commitment to supporting the local community and young people. Through providing career taster workshops, work experience and business mentoring, Future Prospects has helped develop the career aspirations and employability skills of over 80 students in Newham”.

To decide the finalists, 80 students across the five Newham schools took part in workshops and a guided tour of the airport. During the exercises, pupils learnt more about the range of careers available within the aviation industry and about the airport’s work, including its community outreach and environmental work to minimise operational impacts.

The finalists from each workshop returned to London City Airport on Monday 11 July to deliver their presentations and pitch their suggestions to senior airport staff.

Using their research skills, pupils considered the airport’s customer profile and economic opportunities to present their findings in front of the judges and peers. Other suggested destinations included Monaco, Sardinia and Denmark. Judges were impressed by Eastlea School’s confident presentation and evidence-based argument to justify their Croatian destination.

Following this year’s success, the airport plans to extend the programme in 2017 to support even more students across East London – doubling the participants to 160 students.

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