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Airport’s student internship programme provides head start

Auckland Airport’s student internship programme provides head start for MIT students

For the second year in a row, students from Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) have been offered internship placements at Auckland Airport.

The internship programme, facilitated by Auckland Airport and MIT, was inspired by Auckland Council’s Southern Initiative and initially piloted in December 2012. The pilot programme proved such a success that not only has the programme now been made a permanent annual event, but it has also grown to include double the intake of students.

Aimed at getting local talent into local jobs, this year’s internship programme saw an expo held at Auckland Airport for students to meet retailers to learn about their businesses and to find out more about the scheme.

Following the expo, fourteen students from MIT’s Faculty of Business and Information Technology were offered placements with retail businesses based at Auckland Airport including AWPL, DFS New Zealand, JR/Duty Free, Kiwi Discovery, LS Travel Retail Pacific and Travel Pharm. A further six students have been offered placements as summer passenger assistants with Auckland Airport itself.

The structure of the internships will see the students working through their summer holidays with the potential for further employment when the internship period finishes.

Charles Spillane, Auckland Airport’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, says he is delighted that the internship programme has proved an outstanding success for the second year in a row, as it shows the programme has durability as well as further potential for growth.

“The big picture goal here is to get local people into local jobs and it is fantastic that through our partnership with MIT we have been able to achieve this again,” says Mr. Spillane. “The fact that the intake of students this year is double what it was last year indicates the potential for even further expansion of the programme in the years to come.”

“We are committed to the Southern Initiative and will continue to play our part by linking local people with employment opportunities at Auckland Airport,” concludes Mr. Spillane.

Mr. Spillane also noted that the improved public transport links in South Auckland, signalled by Auckland Council, will serve to help increase the participation of South Auckland in employment at Auckland Airport.

MIT Director of External Relations, Dr Stuart Middleton welcomes the growth in the numbers of students who have entered this experience of employment. “When real work experience of this kind follows quality training, the benefits to the new employee and to the employer are mutual. MIT is proud to have its students contributing to the excellent companies at Auckland Airport. It has been an excellent piece of team work.”

Michelle Ephraims, Regional Operations Manager at AWPL, has employed four students across the company’s eight airport-based retail businesses.

“It’s our busiest time of year so it is great for us to have extra hands on deck and great for the students who will get some fantastic experience,” says Ms. Ephraims.

“It was also really helpful to know all the applicants had been pre-screened by MIT and Auckland Airport, making the internship selection process an easy one from our point of view. A win-win for everyone.”

Intern Karena Carter is working at AWPL’s Bookmarque and Travel News stores. She says she was extremely happy when she found out she had been successful in gaining a position at Auckland Airport, after completing both the National Certificate in Travel and the National Certificate in Tourism at MIT.

“This is exactly what I was aiming for when I enrolled to do my study so it’s amazing to have achieved the goal I set for myself,” says Karena.

Anna Mokoi was also more than excited when she found out she had gained an internship placement with JR/Duty Free.

“Before I enrolled to do my National Certificate in Business Administration at MIT I had been looking for a job for a long time,” says Anna. “I didn’t have any success though because I had taken time off work to be a full time Mum and so had a gap in my CV.”

“Completing my qualification at MIT has now led me to this opportunity. I am so thankful to have the chance to gain some valuable work experience as this will help with future job prospects,” finishes Anna.


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