Dreams can come true!

Dreams can come true!

Date: 21 May, 2024  No Comments

Jai’s Dream Took Flight at Birmingham Airport!

Work experience gives young people the opportunity to have a short-term placement with an employer, to work alongside people as they go about their daily tasks. It supports the development of young people’s skills, introduces them to new people and they can learn more about the world of work.

Jai has always wanted to have a chance to work at Birmingham Airport and find out more about the types of jobs that people do there. With the help of his mum and the ASUK National Transition Coordinator, Marie McGee he was able to secure a day’s work experience in different departments of the airport. His day started with a ‘meet and greet’ with the customer experience staff, who welcomed him into their airport team. He was given a customer experience uniform and a security pass, as for part of the day he would be going ‘airside’; this is the technical term for going beyond custom control and security. Jess Sage, from the internal communications team and Alison Hill, Birmingham Airport Compliance Coordinator accompanied Jai throughout the day, with Jess recording a film of his experience.

Jai was then whisked off by Sargent Bell one of the airport police, who showed him around the police station. Jai went into the control room; he met a group of officers who were being trained in security management and spent some time in a police cell. Jai commented, “The cell is horrible, I’m not staying here! 

Once back in the airport’s main terminal, Jai was guided by Shafique, one of the customer experience team who took him down to the departures lounge. Shafique helped to orientate Jai, whose next job was to direct passengers to the check-in desks or answer any of their queries. Jai told Shafique. ‘I liked helping the lost passengers.’

From there, Jai moved onto the check-in area used by Emirates Airlines, where the staff explained why boarding cards are so important and how everyone needs one to travel. Although it was lunchtime now, Jai wanted to keep going, so he made his way up to security where he gave out clear bags for passengers who were travelling with liquids. He was kept very busy with a steady stream of people, with one gentleman commenting on how efficient Jai was!

From there, Jai needed to get over to the duty-free department as staff were waiting for him to help them give out leaflets to passengers, so they could get a discount on their purchases. To do this Jai needed to go through staff security, which is the same as passengers’ security, but it’s hidden away in series of corridors which run right around the airport. Jai was introduced to several duty-free staff who explained their roles and talked to him about the products they sold. He then took up position by the entrance to duty-free, where he declared to passengers that there was 10%
off some in store products, while he thrust a leaflet towards them.

After a short and much needed break, Jai was then taken down to the Emirates boarding gate. He was met there by Amy, one of the Emirates ground staff. At this stage Jai did not know that a surprise lay in wait for him. Firstly, he was given a one-to-one tour of an A380 plane, which can hold up to over 800 passengers, Yikes! (This is one of the largest passenger planes in the world). He then had a chance to try out first and business class, by then he had one of the posh seats that changes into a bed…wouldn’t we all like to travel like that?

Just when he thought his day couldn’t get any better, Amy surprised him with a visit to the cockpit of the plane. This is where he met Captain Howard and his first Mate, who told Jai all about their jobs and how important safety was on the plane. Jai asked about the controls and how they navigate the plane. Jai was surprised to find out how small the cockpit was, and how unbelievably it could fit up to three pilots at a time. As Jai was leaving the aircraft, Amy took him outside so that he could get an idea of how big one of the engines was. To do this he felt the bottom of the engine’s casing which gave him an idea of the circumference of the engine (we checked the engine was not on, so Jai was not blown away!).
Alison Hill, Birmingham Airport Compliance Coordinator commented: ‘It was our pleasure for my team and I to plan this day for Jai and give him the opportunity to be part of the airport family. Throughout the day he has had a huge smile on his face, I can see how much he has enjoyed himself. We are delighted that we could support him not only with his work experience but help one of his dreams come true too.’

Jai was tired, but very happy about his day at Birmingham Airport, on his way home he stated to his mum:
‘It would be great to work at the airport one day, although it’s very tiring!’

Jai’s mum Pam was very impressed with the team who supported her son:
‘I was blown away by their thoughtful and patient approach to Jai. They took the time to understand his needs and adapt the day to suit him. I can’t thank them enough.’

Did you know?
 An Emirates A380 is as long as 2 blue whales and as tall as 5 giraffes.
 The plane is made up of over 4 million parts.

Please get in touch with Marie if there are any work experience places you would like to try, and she will try and sprinkle her magic again!
Email Marie on Marie.mcgee@alstrom.org.uk