Whitechapel schoolgirls work with City Airport to get into aviation

Swanlea School pupils presenting at Women in Aviation. Picture: London City Airport.

Swanlea School pupils presenting at Women in Aviation. Picture: London City Airport. - Credit: London City Airport

City Airport has been working with 300 female pupils from east London to hone their skills and show them what opportunities there are in aviation.

For ‘Women in Aviation’, the airport drew pupils from ten schools—including Swanlea School in Whitechapel—in an effort to get more diversity in the industry.

Girls used their learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) to solve aviation-themed challenges and to design a new terminal for the airport.

Education minister and MP Robert Halfon said: “‘Women in Aviation’ is a fantastic programme that will help to tackle our country’s skills deficit as well as the deficit of women we have studying and working in STEM subjects.”

The 50 best-performing pupils presented their schools’ ideas to industry and business representatives, who shared their experiences and gave advice.

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Wilma Allan, chief financial officer at London City Airport said: “It is widely known that there is a skills shortage in the aviation sector, and at London City Airport we are committed to recruiting locally and making the industry more attractive to young people on our doorstep.”

A third of the workforce at the airport is female. Its upcoming gender pay gap report shows the median female hourly rate is 2.1 per cent higher than the male rate, though the mean hourly rate is 1 per cent greater.

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