- To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, around 40 British Airways apprentices planned and delivered the successful departure of the BA43 from Heathrow to Cape Town for more than 300 customers
- In an airline first, roles carried out by the qualified apprentices included check-in, boarding, dispatch, cabin crew, baggage handling and engineering
- A record number of apprentices have chosen a career with BA post-pandemic, with 4,500 applications received in 2023
A team of skilled British Airways apprentices have successfully dispatched a flight to South Africa, marking a first for the airline and reinforcing the key role apprentices play throughout the business.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2024, around 40 apprentices worked across a variety of roles for the successful departure of the 18:25 Boeing 777 BA43 flight from London Heathrow to Cape Town, South Africa.
Apprentices were stationed across check-in, lounges and at the boarding gate, to support more than 300 customers as they prepared to depart. On the airfield, ground operations apprentices supported with baggage handling and engineering tasks to ensure the aircraft was ready for departure.
Jawad Arbi, Heathrow Operations Apprentice at British Airways, said:
“Working in collaboration with other apprentices from across the operation to ensure a safe departure has been a fantastic experience. Starting an apprenticeship with British Airways has transformed my career, and I’m excited to continue to develop my skills and see where it takes me.”
British Airways’ apprentice scheme, now in its 13th year, has seen a 75% increase in applicants compared to 2022, with 4,500 last year, compared to 2,562 in 2022. The airline is now offering more apprenticeship positions than ever before – it started out offering 30 places in 2011, to 290 today.
Apprentices that join the airline will begin work in 10 area-focused roles across three business areas: Customer, Business and Operations. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced airline colleagues, engage in real-world aviation projects and receive valuable mentorship to kickstart and develop their careers.
The significant interest in the programme reflects British Airways’ position as an industry leader and a key player in shaping the future of aviation professionals and underlines the airline’s commitment to developing and growing the next generation of emerging talent and supporting early careers in aviation.
Rachel Iley, Director of Global Learning Academy, at British Airways, said:
“This landmark flight demonstrates the integral role apprentices play in our workforce and the opportunities available to those who join British Airways on one of our schemes. Our talented apprentices bring a fresh perspective to our airline, and their ideas and enthusiasm will help propel us into the future.”
Throughout 2023, British Airways’ Emerging Talent team, which is responsible for sourcing new talent through apprenticeships and graduate schemes, attended almost 250 career and job fair events and met approximately 37,000 young people to inspire them to consider a career in aviation.
The next cohort of apprenticeships will open for applications October 2024.
Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon, said:
“Apprenticeships are crucial to giving people from all backgrounds the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity while addressing skills gaps and helping to grow our economy.
“So, it is brilliant news that British Airways continues to embrace apprenticeships offering 178 positions this year, and receiving a record number of applications. British Airways understand the levy and use it well. They have experienced the wealth of benefits apprentices bring to their business, and I hope more businesses follow their lead and experience this for themselves.”