Manchester airport to help unemployed find work, but MAG jobs increases are not impressive

Manchester Airport has opened an academy to help unemployed people  in Greater Manchester to get jobs in the travel trade.  The training is being provided by tutors from Stockport College and is designed for the airport environment, making it one of the first projects of its kind in the world. They are given help with their CVs and presentation skills, with potential employers – ranging from airlines to shops based in the terminals – visiting the academy to interview the students when they have vacancies at the airport. Which is all lovely and very helpful.  However, Manchester Airports Group Annual Report for 2010/2011 shows they only employed 16 more staff in 2011 than in 2010 (2,591 compared to 2,575). The number of extra staff at Manchester airport was 32, which was a rise of 1.6%  while Manchester Airport’s number of passengers went up by 6.5%.  Staff increases don’t keep pace with passenger increases, at MAG or at other UK airports.

Manchester Airports Group Annual Report and Accounts 2010/2011$File/Annual_Report_and_Accounts_10-11.pdf

4. Employee information  (Page  53)

The average number of persons (including executive directors) employed by the Group during the year was:

                                                                     2011                  2010
..                                                                Number             Number
By location
Manchester Airport                               2,072                     2,040   (a rise of 1.6%)
East Midlands Airport                           245                          255
Bournemouth Airport                            125                          129
Humberside Airport                              149                          151
Total                                                        2,591                      2,575

an increase of 16 staff (a rise of 0.62%)

Meanwhile CAA provisional data show there were 18,806,098 passengers in 2011 and 17,662,873 passengers in 2010 at Manchester Airport (not all the MAG airports), so a rise +6.5%.

Staff at Manchester airport up + 1.6% in 2011

Passengers at Manchester airport up + 6.5% in 2011

It would be great if the airports employed more people per thousand passengers, rather than less, each year.


See more on employment in the aviation sector at   Employment


Manchester airport launches academy to help unemployed get travel jobs

by Alice McKeegan

1.3.2012 (Manchester Evening News)

Manchester Airport has launched an academy for unemployed people to try to get them jobs in the travel trade. Bosses have set up the Airport Academy – an on-site centre offering training to out-of-work people in Greater Manchester.

All the training – which is being provided by tutors from Stockport College – is designed for the airport environment, making it one of the first projects of its kind in the world. Anyone over the age of 19 can apply for a place through their local job centre, providing they live in the region and have been unemployed for at least a day.

The students are put through their paces five days a week in specially-built classrooms at the centre, near the airport railway station. They are given help with their CVs and presentation skills, with potential employers – ranging from airlines to shops based in the terminals – visiting the academy to interview the students when they have vacancies at the airport.

As well as brushing up on the basics, they gain a customer service qualification and tutors are also helping them achieve security approval from the Department for Transport, which is needed to work in restricted areas of the airport.

Up to 20 students at a time are able to sign up for the two-week ‘employability’ course with tutors hoping that the majority of the ‘graduates’ will be able to find a job at the airport. The airport’s managing director Andrew Harrison said: “As well as providing an important qualification, the academy also increases candidates’ confidence and interviewing techniques to set them on the path of employment.”

Airport Academy project manager Maggie Unwin says that they want to help not only the long-term unemployed but also people who are struggling to come to terms with recent redundancy. She said: “It’s all about standing out from the crowd and the academy makes you that bit more special and more attractive to potential employers.

“When you’ve had a job for years it can be traumatic if you suddenly become unemployed but the airport is such a diverse place, there is something for most people.

Most of the jobs are expected to be in the retail sector but the academy also has links with airlines and agents for the more traditional roles of cabin crew and baggage handling.




See  “Airport Jobs: false hopes, cruel hoax”  (March 2009)

The aviation industry routinely claims it creates huge numbers of jobs for the UK economy. In practice, most low price airlines make every effort they can to reduce the number of employees (automatic check in, automatic baggage systems etc) and the number of jobs created per extra million passengers is not high, and has reduced over the years.

According to the OEF (Oxford Economic Forecasting – not part of Oxford University) report“The Economic Contribution of the Aviation Industry in the UK” (OEF) published in 2006,  the number of direct jobs in the aviation sector in 2004 was 186,000 (full time equivalents) at a time that there were 215m terminal passengers.

However, the same body (OEF) stated that 180,000 were directly employed by the industry in 1998 in their previous report (1999), a year in which 159m passengers were handled.  From this it would seem that a 34% increase in passengers led to only a 3% increase in jobs. This is not a strong reason to believe that net jobs will increase if aviation expands further.  (Details)

According to the ONS the aviation industry directly provided an average of 120,000 UK jobs in 2009, a third fewer than in 1998 despite a 37% increase in the number of passengers carried.  By comparison – again using the ONS estimate – the UK tourism industry directly supports 1.7m jobs in the UK.   (Details)

Using figures supplied by the Airport Operators Association, OEF found that the aviation industry directly employed 186,000 people (full time equivalents) in 2004.

Despite substantially pruning its labour force, British Airways had 1,157 employees for
every million passengers in the year ended 31 March 2010 whilst Ryanair had just 106
employees per million passengers.

British Airways and Ryanair are of course two very different types of airlines but this is nevertheless an indication of the way the industry has changed. And Ryanair now handles more than twice as many passengers as British Airways.

A report by Oxera, for the Airport Operators Association (AOA) in Nov 2009 said the aviation sector directly provided 141,000 jobs in 2009, and “234,000 if the supplier base is also taken into account.”

The number of terminal passengers at UK airports in 1998 was 158,810,000; 168,288,000 passengers in 1999;   the number in 2004 was 214,926,000; and the number of passengers in 2009 was 218,126,000  (CAA airport data)

Oxera also say  between 1995 – 2008 GVA (gross value added) by the aviation sector grew 8.3% and was was £8.8 billion in 2007.  And that between 1995 – 2008 aviation passengers grew 81% while air freight grew 33%.
However the number of jobs provided over this time seems to have declined, not risen.  There were 180,000 direct aviation  jobs in 1998 and 141,000 in 2009 – a reduction of 27%. During the period of 1998 to 2009 there was a rise in passenger numbers of 37%.  
Aviation jobs do not keep pace with growth  in passenger numbers.
The number of direct aviation staff per million passengers was (back of an envelope maths from the above figures)  1,133 in 1998 [180,000 / 158,818,000] ;  in 2009 it was 646 staff per million passengers [141,000 /218,126,000 ]..

Oxera report