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Auckland Airport and MIT partnership a success story

20 February 2013

Auckland Airport and MIT partnership a Southern Initiative success story

A pilot internship programme, which placed Manukau Institute of Technology students into summer jobs at businesses based at Auckland Airport, has led to permanent employment for over half the participants.

The programme, a partnership between MIT and Auckland Airport, is a Southern Initiative success story, fulfilling the aim of getting qualified local people into local jobs.

And there are plans to expand further, with more students to benefit from the relationship between Auckland Airport and MIT’s Faculty of Business & Information Technology.

Auckland Airport’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs Charles Spillane says: “We are delighted with the outcome of this pilot internship programme. The ultimate goal here was to get local people into local jobs and, with over half the interns securing permanent roles at the Airport, this has well and truly been achieved.”

“Our focus now lies with the future of this programme. The potential for growth is very encouraging as we look to expand the number of Airport-based businesses involved in the programme and subsequently increase the intake of interns.”

MIT Director of External Affairs Stuart Middleton says: “We are delighted the programme has been so successful in every way. The progression of those who have already secured employment underlines for us the value of these experiences and the excellent work done by the participating employers and our tutors. It is a fine example of partnership in action.”

DFS Duty Free has employed three MIT students permanently following their 12 week internship.

DFS General Manager Julian Bottaro says the company will support the internship programme going forward as he has been impressed by the attitude and capability of the students.

“We also want to support the Southern Initiative. We are showing our interns the sky is the limit. They can work for a multi-national company and, if they work hard, in 10 years who knows where they will be. They could be general manager.”

Hayley Lockhart, an MIT Travel and Tourism student, is now a permanent DFS staff member. She was also nominated as DFS employee of the month in December.

Mr Bottaro says Hayley has a real talent for sales, and always ensures the customer is the top priority. “She has also embraced and demonstrates our DFS values such as working as a team, acting with integrity, and achieving excellence, every day. We are proud to have her as a part of our team.”

Hayley will continue to study part time at MIT in 2013, with DFS providing flexibility in her roster to allow for this.

In a letter to DFS explaining what the internship opportunity has meant to her, Hayley says: “I have had an amazing experience learning about all the roles in all the different fields of the company. I can see myself going places in this company, with so many opportunities ahead of me.”

There were nine internships given to MIT students over the summer. There will be more placements next summer and Auckland Airport and MIT are exploring the possibility of a mid year intake.


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