Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy was formed in 2004 to support our communities into employment opportunities at Heathrow. The Academy has continued its work widening in its reach to other sectors and to date has supported over 5800 people into employment.
In 2017 an independent Skills Taskforce was set up chaired by the Rt. Hon. The Lord Blunkett to advise Heathrow on its education, employment and skills agenda. We received the STF recommendations in 2018 and in early 2019 we responded to them.
Amongst our commitment was to widen the Academy community programme and support care leavers into employment and apprenticeship opportunities, with the aim to reduce youth unemployment.
To achieve this the Academy has introduced a new route for Care Leavers working closely with the local boroughs and virtual heads to gain greater access to these young people.
The Academy recognise the challenges that young people face when they leave the care system and begin to live independently, our dedicated Community team help introduce these young people to the wonderful career and Apprenticeship opportunities available to them at Heathrow.
In 2019 Heathrow signed-up to the Care Leaver Covenant; a government scheme to support people leaving care. The Care Leaver Covenant is a commitment that organisations, including Heathrow have made to provide a tailored package of training and guidance to prepare a care leaver for the world of work.
The Academy has committed to offer the following support:
- Individuals are assigned a mentor to support them in their journey through Academy and into employment. Our dedicated trained IAG mentors work alongside a support worker a Care worker assigned to the young people.
- Pre-Employment Training (PET) programme, accredited WorkSkills Level 1 Employability Skills training course is available to all with additional support to meet individual needs.
- Through the Academy’s employer engagement and recruitment team, employers will be engaged on this agenda and provide suitable vacancies for individuals.
So far the Academy has supported 15 Care Leavers through its programmes with 7 gaining employment.
Ultimately, the Care Leaver’s journey with the Academy aims to support individuals into sustainable employment at Heathrow. This process helps to promote social mobility, ensuring local Care Leavers are exposed to new opportunities and can gain independence.