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Heathrow builds commitments to share recovery benefits with neighbours

As London Heathrow Airport begins to see the first signs of passenger numbers returning, the airport aims to allow the neighbouring community to capitalise on the aviation sector’s recovery.

Heathrow builds commitments to share recovery benefits with neighbours

Credit: London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) wants to share the benefits of living on the doorstep of the UK’s hub airport with its neighbours as it starts to see the first signs of passenger numbers returning. The updated Heathrow Local Recovery Plan will continue to allow the community around the airport to capitalise on the aviation sector’s recovery as it begins to take shape over the coming years.

After a busy Easter (2022) period and similar expectations for the summer, there are now real opportunities for people to grow their career or business by working with Heathrow. Whether it’s applying for one of 12,000 vacancies in the coming months, or building back business connections as international markets gradually reopen.

Many challenges remain for aviation, and passenger growth is expected to slow after the ‘summer bubble’ of pent-up demand. But now is the time for Heathrow to ramp up its operations to meet demand, bringing opportunities for communities across the region.

To support its neighbours, Heathrow has extended its London Living Wage pledge to all colleagues in its direct supply chain, adding a further 1,300 people onto the competitive starting rate for entry level positions. Heathrow already pays all of its direct employees at least the London Living Wage and is recruiting up to 1,000 new security officers for this summer.

Beyond this the airport has helped thousands of jobseekers through the advice and support of its Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy. And for the younger generations, thousands have already benefited from virtual career events and work experience in the last year, despite it not being possible for people to attend in-person events.

In 2020 the Heathrow Local Recovery Plan was launched, setting out ambitious targets for helping the community to emerge from the pandemic. Since then, the airport has:

  • Rolled out the London Living Wage to its entire direct supply chain
  • Hosted virtual work experience for 729 students aged 16 to 19
  • Welcomed 1,220 primary school children to take part in Heathrow Young Explorers – encouraging the next generation to think about sustainable travel solutions
  • Achieved a 77 per cent interview-to-offer rate for jobs brokered though the Heathrow Employment and Skills Academy
  • Supported 200 students with additional learning needs at Harrow and Uxbridge College to participate in an essential skills masterclass
  • Pledged £100,000 in Apprenticeship Levy Transfers.

To build on the positive steps forward to date, stakeholders will be brought together through the Heathrow Local Recovery Forum to agree targets on future actions.

Becky Coffin, Communities and Sustainability Director at Heathrow commented: “There are huge benefits to living on the doorstep of the UK’s hub airport, and as passenger numbers slowly return, we are once again able to share them with our neighbours. The Heathrow Local Recovery Plan sets out how the community can access the unrivalled opportunities for employment, skills and education that come from living near the UK’s biggest single site employer. We are also taking important steps to minimise some of the negative impacts, such as cutting carbon and reducing noise to make Heathrow a truly great place to live and work.”

“Back in 2020, when the pandemic and its impacts on the community around Heathrow were at their worst, we made a pledge to do what we could to help those who felt the brunt of the airport’s operations grinding to a standstill,” said Lord Blunkett, Chair of the Heathrow Local Recovery Forum. “Now passengers are returning, we can build on that support and offer fantastic career paths and learning experiences in the bustling heart of UK aviation. There is still much to be done, but by working together with partners through the Heathrow Local Recovery Forum, we can once again share the benefits of being part of the Heathrow community.”

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