The 14th annual ‘Academy Awards’ ceremony has been held to celebrate the achievements of individuals from Heathrow and the local community. The event awarded outstanding apprentices, mentors and the local Employer of the Year at Stockley Park Golf Club on Thursday.
108 Heathrow Academy apprentices celebrated their graduation in style, with entertainers and special guest speaker, Bonita Norris who shared her inspiring story as the world’s youngest person to climb Everest and reach the North Pole. A special congratulations was also sent from the Rt Hon The Lord Blunkett via video message, delighting audience members.
This year, 66 percent of graduates are from the five boroughs closest to the airport: Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing, Spelthorne and Slough. Five graduates working in travel, freight, retail and hospitality, were awarded with ‘Learner Special Recognition’ awards by the evening’s hosts, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye and Chief People Officer Paula Stannett. Winners, who were chosen by a panel of Heathrow Academy leaders, all showed outstanding commitment to work and have excelled in the apprenticeship program.
The ‘Mentor Special Recognition’ award went to Praveen Denzil from Travelex for going above and beyond to make a difference to the success and motivation of apprentices. The ‘Employer of the Year’ went to Dyer and Butler, Engineering Services Specialists, for embracing the Academy concept to support and implement their successful people plan at Heathrow. Runner up in this category, World Duty Free, was also congratulated.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“Our people are our greatest asset, and investing in training opportunities that support our colleagues to successfully upskill and be their very best, is core to our success as the UK’s leading airport. The Heathrow Academy offers our local community a variety of courses and support services that will ensure we are equipped with a strong and talented workforce well into the future, and crucially when we open the third runway in 2026.”
This annual event is a celebration for all graduates who have completed their Apprenticeship over the past year, for the forward-thinking employers who recognize the amazing contribution Apprentices and Apprenticeships bring to their business and for the mentors who spend much of their own time supporting their colleagues undertaking this amazing opportunity to learn and develop.
Since 2004, well over 7,000 people have benefited from the opportunities provided by Heathrow Academy to learn new skills and move into employment, with thousands of candidates finding new careers at the airport. Heathrow has so far contributed more than £13,500,000 since launching the Academy.
The news comes hot off the heels of Heathrow’s Living Wage accreditation anniversary, a significant milestone in the airport’s long-term plan for sustainable growth. This week, the airport called on more businesses to recognize that successful companies are built on investing in their colleagues. Heathrow will soon publish a roadmap on how it will work with the airport’s directly engaged supply chain to ensure they also guarantee employees are paid the Living Wage by late 2020.
The 2018 Winners:
• Apprentice Special Recognition – Outstanding Commitment: Scott Walters, Heathrow Airport Ltd
• Apprentice Special Recognition – Overcoming Challenges: Jason O’Keeffe, Mixed Freight Services
• Apprentice Special Recognition – Outstanding Quality: Naomi Morris, World Duty Free Group
• Apprentice Special Recognition – Making the most of an opportunity: Samit Saini, Heathrow Airport Ltd
• Individual Special Recognition – Making the Most of an Opportunity: Carlos Nobregas, Accor Hotels
• Mentor Special Recognition – Most Supportive: Parveen Denzil, Travelex
• Employer of the Year – 2017 Runner up: World Duty Free Group
• Employer of the Year – 2017 Winner: Dyer & Butler