Students are given a unique insight into life at busy transport hub
PUBLISHED: 08:37 22 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:47 22 October 2018
Saffron Photo 2018
Students from Saffron Walden County High School (SWCHS) visited Stansted Airport last Tuesday and met a Ryanair engineer, a dog handler from Essex Police and discovered more about the airport's college.
Stansted Airport employs more than 12,000 people and brings local schools to an educational centre called the Aerozone three times a week to meet airport staff and businesses.
Year 11 pupils from SWCHS visited to find out more about working at the airport.
Giorgio Tromboni, who is from Italy and works for Ryanair as a technical engineer, spoke to the pupils about his job and the challenges he faces.
“I love England and I love working here,” he said. “I worked in the Army and as a bartender before but this is one of the best jobs I’ve had. The job is so satisfying.”
Giorgio said it’s hard work though - he works 12 hour shifts and safety and security are the top priority.
“This is a very stressful job too - you have to do everything in the right way with the right paperwork,” he said. “But the best part of my job is my team. This job is about trust and they are very supportive and always there to help me.”
SWCHS students also heard from Victoria Clayden Smith, the deputy head at Stansted Airport College, which opened last month.
The college hopes to fill a recruitment gap faced by the airport. Victoria said there are 700 vacancies, mostly in engineering and hospitality, and they will work to train students so they are ready to be employed by the airport. Ryanair has agreed to take on 14 apprentices from the college next year.
Students also received a visit from Essex Police and one of their police dogs called Holly - an explosives dog.
Holly’s handler, PC Hayley Peek, spoke to the students about her job at the airport and explained that all three police dogs on site are expected to work nine hour days and search for about 45 minutes at a time.
“Our dogs are trained on everything and they are very good at it. The dogs can search an entire plane of baggage in about five minutes - it saves a lot of time for us.”
The other dog, Boots, is trained on cash and drugs.
The dogs come home with their handlers, but Hayley said they are not treated as a family pet and they stay in a kennel outside.
Apparently, Holly manages to relax and have a cuddle, but Buddy searches his handler’s house and can’t relax.
Luckily, Holly and Buddy have never found any live explosives during their time at the airport, but Boots finds cash and drugs all the time.
To find out more about the range of careers at the airport, Stansted Airport College is holding an open day on November 6, from 5.30-8.30pm.