Airport Academy passes the 100 mark

The Airport Academy based at Manchester Airport has passed the 100 mark by assisting John Lovesay of Northern Moor in Manchester into a role at the Biza duty free store in Terminal 1 at the airport.

John lives in Northern Moor and attended the Airport Academy course in April 2010 at The Forum in Wythenshawe, which led to him being accepted onto a course delivered by The Manchester College. After completing it, he got an interview at the airport which led to him being placed at the World Duty Free owned, Biza store.

Biza is a ‘department store’ experience located within the airport. It provides new 'must-have' products, alongside desired global and niche brands. This is all combined with tax and duty free essentials and a sense of in-store theatre. Biza stores can be at found at the airport of Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Newcastle.

John attended his interview with World Duty Free in May and was subsequently successful in gaining employment. John was also getting married during this time and was so keen not to hold up the process for his referencing that he actually delivered his documents to the World Duty Free HR office on his way to his honeymoon.

John Lovesay said: “I was told I’d got the job on the actual day I went off on my honeymoon to Rhodes so it was a great feeling to be walking around Biza before I left knowing that I’d be working here when I got back. I recently got offered a role outside of the airport and I tried it for a few days but there’s something about the airport that’s very satisfying and I’m really enjoying my role. I just want to keep improving now and moving onwards and upwards.”

The Airport Academy project is an employment and training programme that helps unemployed people living in the Manchester South regeneration areas and particularly in Wythenshawe.

Students of the Academy are all 16 or over and are assessed, given appropriate training and skills, coached in interview techniques and helped to find suitable vacancies at the airport.

Maggie Unwin, the Airport Academy Project Manager, said: “We’re delighted that John has found the right role for himself and that he’s committed to it, as demonstrated by his actions before he went on his honeymoon. We have a long history of working in close partnership with our local communities. Over the years, we have worked with many local organisations to enable everyone to benefit from the resources at the airport. Our community work is focussed on areas closest to the airport and gives priority to those with the greatest social and economic need.”

Once in work students are given support and encouraged to develop their skills to ensure that their new working life is a rewarding one. The Academy is a story of successful collaboration with the council and the 300 or so companies who are based on site.

Councillor Sameen Ali, Executive Member for Employment and Skills at Manchester City Council, said: "The Council's regeneration team in Wythenshawe has a strong working relationship with the Airport and other employers to promote growth and job opportunities. It's a very effective network which means that residents can gain, practical, vocational training which can lead to permanent work. Congratulations to John and let's hope we'll be celebrating another 100 new jobs very soon."


For more information, contact the Manchester Airport press office on 0161 489 2700 or at

Published on: 07/12/2010 15:44:02