Report by Simon Boyce, Director of Student Services at Harlow College & Stansted Airport College, Essex
As part of our collaborative outreach partnership with Make Happen, we run a programme called High Flyers and as part of this initiative, during February we were lucky enough to get a tour of a Titan Airways aircraft hangar.
Our High Flyers are all year ten students from six local schools with a shared interest in STEM subjects. Having successfully completed a testing interview process, their new role as High Flyer Ambassadors will give them up close access to some of the big employers at Stansted Airport, through as series of sector insight days.
They will also develop their practical engineering skills at Stansted Airport College with several masterclass workshops. As ambassadors, their responsibility will be to share their experience and understanding of the aerospace engineering sector among their school community and showcase the fantastic career opportunities that are available.
Our ambassadors met at Stansted Airport College for their first activity day full of excitement and a few nerves. The day began with a practical hand-skills masterclass delivered by our engineering team, including several of our engineering apprentices. In just a couple of hours our ambassadors had learned the process of cutting, shaping and riveting sheet metal to aerospace standards! lt was great to see them so focused and completing the tasks to such a high standard.
After a quick pizza overlooking the runway from the college’s viewing gallery, our High Flyers were taken to Titan Airways for a tour of their hanger. In a stroke of luck, Titan were conducting maintenance work on a Boeing 767 and our High Flyers were given full access to the aircraft. They received a detailed tour from two engineers who gave them a superb insight into their job roles as well as the workings of the aircraft.
The ambassadors had a truly unique experience and our Titan tour guides complimented them at the end of the tour saying they had never been asked so many intelligent and thoughtful questions.
As part of the day, our High Flyers took photos and recorded videos to use in the digital diaries they will produce to eventually share with their school peers. They left having all made new friends with a shared interest and all thoroughly looking forward to our second event in April which will include a trip to Ryanair! Thanks again to Make Happen for supporting this project.
If you’d like to find out more about how Make Happen can support your school or college with specific events, please talk to your collaborative outreach officer.