Belfast International Airport and Belfast Boys’ Model School have checked into Business Class in a partnership that will yield benefits all round.
Both the school and the airport made the link-up through Business in the Community NI which offers a Business Class programme. The programme is designed to build long-term strategic partnerships between local schools and businesses.
It aims to connect the dots, and to provide meaningful engagement with the workforce of tomorrow. Aspirations are nurtured and practical skills developed to help young people reach their full potential.
For the airport, the Business Class programme is a practical way of addressing the skills’ gap and explaining what the employer requires.
Belfast International Airport Human Resources Manager, Jaclyn Coulter, says that partnership is at the heart of the programme.
She adds: “Business Class is now up and running. Initially, it will be for Year 12 and Year 13 pupils and we’re also looking at getting teachers into the airport to show them what we can offer. We’re hosting a staff development day on the 15th January which affords us the opportunity to set out the full range of career options at the airport, and the facilities that can be used for many different subjects including science, geography and IT.
“The airport sees this programme as a valuable way of engaging with the community, and delivering a positive message to pupils and teachers that we support the practical things they are doing to build confidence and engender a can-do attitude in all who will take part.”
Jaclyn is pictured above with Jonny Smith, Head of Careers, Boys Model, Derek McKnight, BIA Finance Director and Mark Bothwell, BIA Chief Fire Officer
Belfast Boys’ Model School Vice-Principal, Mary Montgomery, pictured above with says both pupils and teachers are very much looking forward to the roll-out of the ‘Business Class’ partnership.
Mary continues: “The real value here is the access it will give our pupils to a wealth of work related learning experiences. It will also open their eyes to the complex and varied jobs that are done at the International airport and encourage them to consider of a worthwhile career with a first-class local employer.”
“We’re delighted with the commitment shown to our pupils by the staff of the International Airport. We are very excited by the prospect of a 2- 3 year partnership that allows us the time we need to involve Belfast Boys’ Model School pupils with the airport in a tangible and worthwhile way.”
“Teachers, too, will benefit in their own professional development alongside airport staff who will develop new skills as business volunteers.”