East Midlands Airport has retained its Business in the Community (BITC) Mark – the UK’s only national standard that publicly recognises leadership and excellence in community investment.
The Community Mark recognises businesses that have an integrated and strategic approach to community investment and are making a measurable difference to local communities. Following an intensive recertification process, EMA received very positive feedback and useful advice on how to further improve the work it does with its neighbouring communities.
The airport is committed to being a good neighbour and the work it does in the community ranges from providing jobs and skills support to funding local causes.
As a major employer, EMA runs courses at its Academy to help those who are struggling to get onto the jobs ladder to acquire skills which will improve their chances of finding work.
Since its Sector Based Academy opened in 2013, EMA has trained over 1000 local unemployed people to a Level 2 in Customer Service. Nearly 400 of these have taken up the opportunity for a week of work experience, and over 600 have secured work on or near the airport. Each year the airport runs a major recruitment fair which attracts hundreds of people who are keen to apply for frontline operational roles.
The airport is also committed to inspiring young people. At its Aerozone, a dedicated on-site education centre, EMA hosts school groups from across the region and uses this opportunity to give young children an insight into all aspects of aviation and the types of jobs that could one day be available to them. Since it opened in May 2010, over 25,000 young people have visited the Aerozone on-site education centre.
EMA invests time and money to support local voluntary causes and charities. Through the EMA Community Fund, over £1m has been awarded to local community groups for projects ranging from refurbishing facilities to buying sports equipment.
A recent beneficiary of this was the Peter Le Marchant Trust in Loughborough which provides scenic boat tours for people of all ages with disabilities and illness. Each one of its boats is fitted with hydraulic lifts, central heating and defibrillators, and the cost of maintaining them can be prohibitive. The Community Fund grant will help pay for a much-needed new fuel tank.
On retaining its BITC award, Colleen Hempson (EMA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager), said: “We’re delighted that our commitment to working with and supporting communities that are local to East Midlands Airport has been recognised. Being a good neighbour is key to sustaining what we do and growing as a business.
“The impact of the airport is far-reaching and our success benefits people right across the region, whether it’s direct and indirect job creation, helping businesses reach global markets or providing easy access for holiday-makers and business travellers to reach their destinations.
“We have ambitious plans for the future but, to achieve these, we need to bring local communities with us on our journey and we are committed to building on the good practice for which we have received recognition.”