TWELVE young apprentices have taken off on an exciting new career as the conurbation's aviation industry is boosted by a new training programme

The on-site training scheme at Bournemouth Airport, which has been backed by BCP Council, welcomed its first intake of apprentice aircraft maintenance engineers in October.

The youngsters from local schools and businesses have commenced their training with specialist provider Resource Group.

The programme is the culmination of years of work by the local authority and a group of local employers – Signature TECHNICAir; Cobham Aviation Services; Gama Aviation and Jets (Bournemouth) Ltd – who are also key partners in the council’s efforts to promote engineering.

It will also contribute to a longer-term goal of creating an International Air and Space Training Institute (IASTI) at Bournemouth Airport, a facility designed to meet the wider needs of the aerospace industry that could have significant benefits to the area's economy.

Attending the launch in October prior to lockdown, Councillor Phillip Broadhead, BCP Council portfolio holder for regeneration, economy and strategic planning, said: “Whilst many sectors face a difficult period over the winter due to the global pandemic, it is hugely exciting that our local aviation industry is really ‘taking off’, with a number firms based in our area continuing to expand and plan for the future.

“As a council, expanding our innovative, successful economy and providing opportunities for young people to grow is a priority for us. This is a great example of how our cooperative approach can lead to fantastic results.

“Congratulations to all the new apprentices and I wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and set a course on their exciting new career path.”

John Hamshere, sales and customer support manager at Signature TECHNICAir, added: “We are delighted to welcome these brilliant young people to the industry. Demand for aviation skills is likely to overtake supply by 2027 and programmes like these will make all the difference in securing the future of aviation within our local area.”

The council hopes the apprenticeship scheme will become a permanent fixture at Bournemouth Airport.