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Students learn about Heathrow’s hidden world of cargo


Proving it’s never too early to start exploring career opportunities, starting this week, more than 3,100 under 12s in fifty schools in West London will learn the ABC’s of exporting with the new Heathrow Primary School Challenge.

Students from five boroughs surrounding Heathrow – Ealing, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Slough and Spelthorne – will learn about Heathrow’s hidden world of cargo, and how the airport, as the country’s biggest port by value, helps in exporting tonnes of fresh salmon, jewellery, machinery and medicines to over 180 destinations.

To apply their lessons, students will then use the computer program Scratch to code their own cargo journey to get goods from planes to their chosen destination. Besides introducing them to the exciting world of international trade, the Scratch programme will also strengthen the Grade 6 students’ science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills that are so essential for a future British workforce.

The Primary School Challenges will take place from now until the end of October.

Heathrow’s Head of Economic Development Sundeep Sangha said:

“Heathrow is working with local primary schools to ensure that children have a positive bank of memories, skills and experiences to use when they are ready to get into the world of work. And with 40,000 additional local jobs and up to 10,000 apprenticeships created through Heathrow’s expansion and additional runway, there will be a huge opportunity for students to start their career with us.

“We have refreshed and refocused this year’s challenge to make it even more exciting and inspiring for these young students by drawing some inspiration from the little known, but crucially important role, Heathrow plays as the UK’s biggest port by value. We look forward to meeting what could be our future colleagues, and having some fun along the way.”

The Primary School Challenge is part of the Heathrow Community Investment Programme, which aims to support the economic prosperity of local people surrounding the airport. The main aim is to raise aspirations and academic achievements by positively engaging with local schools, colleges and universities to promote the airport as an attractive career destination to local young people, their parents and other job seekers.

Challenge events are based on guidelines for Enterprise Education and Work-Related learning to encourage all students to develop creativity, problem solve, take risks and have a ‘can do’ attitude. Over 23,400 of local students have so far benefitted from the skills taught in the Challenge since 2006.

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