A special graduation ceremony celebrated the achievements of 82 Heathrow Academy apprentices from across west London.
The event attended by special guest Nicolas Hamilton (brother of F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton), local MPs, councillors, and CEO John Holland-Kaye was hosted at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel on Bath Road on Thursday November 5.
Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “The Academy gives an opportunity for talented local people to fulfil their potential, through one of the many amazing careers open to them at Heathrow.
"My aim is that a future chief executive of Heathrow will come from one of our local communities - and their journey may well start at the Academy.”
Now in its 11th year the success of the academy was highlighted at the event including saving taxpayers £8m; placing more than 5,000 local residents into further training opportunities; and 3,188 people directly into airport jobs; as well as investing £4m in the growth of the academy.
Should expansion go ahead, the airport has promised to offer 10,000 apprenticeships over the course of the expansion project.
Heathrow Academy offers recruitment; apprenticeship and development.
Single mum-of two Roslyn Alabaster of Hounslow joined Carluccio’s in 2013, and shortly after her manager suggested an apprenticeship in team leadership to help her develop in the role.
She said: “I’d given up on achieving my own dreams and aspirations, but after joining Carluccio’s, I knew the time was right to do something positive for me, and make my daughters proud.
"It’s hard to explain but it has made me feel so much braver and happier.
"Heathrow Academy has supported me when I’ve not felt confident and given me the self-belief I needed to get my apprenticeship!
"It’s a unique place to work at Heathrow and you really do meet some incredible people. I’m excited by what the future holds!”
Ms Alabaster was promoted to team leader shortly after completing the qualification, and is working towards the next step in her management career with continued support from the Heathrow Academy apprenticeship team.
Carluccio’s regional operations director, Russel, is an advocate of the Heathrow Academy and understands the value apprenticeships can offer his employees.
NADEZDA MIKULICA - winner of learner special commitment & learner making the most of opportunities
With three apprenticeships under her belt Nadezda Mikulica, also from Hounslow, has excelled in her career at Reach, the company responsible for Heathrow's sales team of passenger ambassadors airside at the airport.
She has successfully completed the customer service, team leading, and management apprenticeships, which has resulted in her progressing to a management position.
She has won the learner special commitment; and learner making the most of opportunities awards, as well as being nominated as an apprenticeship mentor to support colleagues on the programme.
FERECHTA KHAWRIN-FATIH - nominated for the learner special recognition - outstanding quality award.
Originally from Afghanistan, Ferechta moved to France with her family when she was eight-years-old, completed her university degree, married and moved to England with her husband Zabiullah.
The couple settled in Hillingdon and had visited Terminal 5 after a friend told them how amazing it was.
Shortly after, she heard about the Heathrow Academy and went straight down to meet the team.
She was enrolled into the pre-employment training course and two days after completing it had secured an interview with Bvlgari.
Mrs Khawrin-Faith said: “It all happened very quickly. The interview went really well and I started with them straight away.
"There I was in a marble floored shop and the first thing I sold was a diamond ring. I couldn’t believe it.”
She has completed three apprenticeships, the most recent advanced apprenticeship in management, and after three-and-a-half years with Bvlgari moved on to become team leader for Watches of Switzerland.
Her husband followed in her footsteps and both have worked at Heathrow ever since.
Sean Murphy from Ealing met a Heathrow Academy community engagement officer at his local job centre after struggling to find a job for six years.
He snapped up the opportunity to enrol on Heathrow Academy's pre-employment training course, secured an interview and for the past eight months has been working at Travelex.
After graduating from Staffordshire University with a BA Hons in Animation in 2008, with the recession in full swing, despite completing a number of training courses through the job centre and taking on voluntary work for a charity to add experience to his CV, he was losing hope.
Mr Murphy said: “The longer it went on, the harder it got.
“It felt like my life was on hold and I just couldn’t see a way out.
“I was really nervous when I went along but everyone in the Heathrow Academy Team is really good at putting you at ease.
"They go through every step from writing your CV to helping you prepare for interviews."
Dev, Team Leader at Travelex, said: “He was a little bit nervous at first but he came across really well and showed all of the skills that we look for. I interviewed several people but nobody impressed me as much as Sean, so I offered him the job.
“He’s been with us for eight months now and he’s doing really well.”