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Following a far-reaching recruitment drive, more than 1,600 people applied for jobs at Manchester Airport in April, with 500 new colleagues currently going through security training and vetting processes.
60 new recruits have already joined the operation in April, with a further 200 new recruits due to start in May to bolster the workforce ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer season for the travel sector.
The UK’s third largest airport is continuing to recover at pace, as it emerges from the pandemic following the removal of international travel restrictions. Passenger volumes have now grown back to 79% of pre-pandemic levels, whereas in January volumes were just 40% of those seen in the same month in 2019. The strong recovery means the airport is now serving around three times more passengers each week than it was in January.
The airport is continuing to advise customers to arrive three hours before their flights, and to ensure they are up-to-speed with the latest rules about what can be carried in hand luggage. At the same time, the airport is also asking passengers not to arrive earlier than this because it can lead to extra queues, and check-in and security facilities may not be open.
With demand returning rapidly, the airport has been working hard to recruit hundreds of new security officers, improve the efficiency of how it deploys the people already working in the operation, and bring in new measures to improve the airport experience for customers and staff. Measures have included the reopening of Terminal Three, additional overtime for existing Manchester Airport staff, and the recruitment of hundreds of workers on temporary contracts.
To date, more than 8,000 applications have been received for roles including security officers, car park marshals and hospitality staff. In the last month alone, more than 1,600 people have applied for jobs and more than 500 people are currently going through background checks and security training. Around 200 new starters are expected to join at Manchester in May, enabling the airport to open additional security lanes during peak periods and improve customer service.
The current recruitment drive and a range of other measures have improved the customer experience in recent weeks, with 90% of passengers in the last two weeks getting through security in less than 30 minutes, up significantly from 78% in the first two weeks of April. While the airport is still experiencing longer queues at times, these are happening less frequently and they are being cleared relatively quickly.
The whole aviation sector is facing similar staffing pressures and the airport is also working with partner organisations including UK Border Force, airlines and ground handlers to support their operations at immigration, check-in and baggage reclaim.
Ian Costigan, Interim Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said:
“We want to make sure that customers get away on their travels, so everyone at Manchester Airport is focused on bringing in the extra resources we need to continue operating our full flight schedule.
“It is encouraging to see new staff joining us as a result of our ongoing recruitment drive, and we have seen security waiting times reduce in recent weeks.
“The last few weeks have been challenging but the team on the ground has done a great job in getting passengers through security more quickly, and I would like to thank all colleagues for their hard work and dedication.
“As we continue to recover, we are reminding customers to arrive at the airport three hours before their flight and to ensure they are familiar with all security rules. While the majority of people will get through security in less than 30 minutes, customers need to allow time for check-in and the possibility that security queues may be longer at peak times.
“All of these things will help passengers move through the airport quickly and easily, which is our ultimate goal.”
There are still roles to apply for at the airport and there are several recruitment events set to take place in May including open days at the onsite Airport Academy (10th and 17th May). Staff from the airport will also be attending jobs fairs held in Stoke-on-Trent (organised by Jack Brereton MP), Altrincham Job Centre (6th May), Rusholme Job Centre (11th May) and Bolton Council’s jobs fair on 26th May.
For information on roles available with MAG visit their careers website. Roles with third parties at the terminals, such as hospitality providers, can be found by applying directly through their websites, or through advertisements on local job sites.