The opening ceremony of the RJ Mitchell Aircraft Maintenance Academy (AMA) took place on 29th October at Humberside Airport. The opening, which represents a £5m investment from BAE Systems (BAES) and Resource Group, will coincide with the graduation of this year's cohort of apprentices who will be presented with awards in recognition of their achievements.
Celebrations on the day will include an official ribbon cutting, plaque unveiling and presentation of the facility to an audience of dignitaries, apprentices, stakeholders and other key industry figures. A Typhoon fly past will mark the occasion on a day that symbolises the importance of investing in the future of aviation, both military and civilian.
The inaugural cohort of 60 apprentices will begin training with Resource Group instructors and take their first steps towards a career with BAE Systems where they will be ultimately responsible for the servicing of military jet aircraft including Typhoon, Tornado and Hawk for both the RAF and BAE Systems export customers.
The course is a tried, tested and proven formula specifically designed by Resource Group to meet the demands of the industry. It has already delivered hundreds of vitally needed new starters to commercial operations through its existing Aviation Technical Training academy at the Cotswold Airport. The new facility will continue this legacy, providing CAA approved training of the highest quality to ensure the future supply of skilled aviation technical personnel.
For the first year the apprentices will be based at the AMA immersed in the aviation environment, undergoing intensive theoretical and practical training and developing the behaviours associated with this most safety critical of industries. The second year will be spent completing a practical work placement, productive at shop floor level with a BAE Systems team at a military base. Each year around 60 apprentices will join the academy with at least 180 new jobs expected over three years.
Ian Fitzpatrick, Director of Resource Group's Aviation Technical Training Division said: "The demographic threat to our industry is well documented and as the foremost aviation maintenance training provider in the UK we are dedicated to addressing the future shortage of aircraft maintainers. We are delighted to have been contracted to design and build the academy for BAE Systems and sign a 10 year agreement to operate the facility to deliver training solutions for them. The new academy at Humberside is testimony to the commitment of BAE Systems to meet the important skills challenge head on and we are proud to be part of such an outstanding project."
David Talbot, BAE System's Head of the Aircraft Maintenance Academy said " The opening of the new academy provides us with a world-class facility to grow the next generation of aircraft maintenance technicians and ensure our customers have the right people for the job of keeping aircraft ready to deliver air power. Today marks the culmination of a great deal of effort by a large number of people including Resource Group, North Lincolnshire Council, Humberside Airport and our accommodation partners, Nightel. we are looking forward to continuing these relationships as we deliver the skills needed to support our customers and community.
Members of Resource Group at Humberside Opening Ceremy: L-R: Reg Gott, Adrian Bates, Keith Stansfield, Ian Fitzpatrick, John Minihan, John Larkin, Les Garside-Beattie.