Today (11 May) the Government announced a major focus on adult skills. The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill will overhaul the adult education system in England and provide flexible loans for adults to fund higher-level education or training at any time and any age throughout their lives. This is an important change to the current system, where the lack of funding for adult learning has meant that providers are unable to offer a wide range of training to meet local need.

The Government’s announcement comes at a time when RSP are planning how they will up-skill and re-skill local people ,so Manston Airport can find the staff they need locally. Aiming to employ locally will help to leverage as much benefit for the community as possible from the operation of a vibrant air freight hub in the South East – just where it is needed.

When the DCO for the redevelopment of the airport has been re-issued, RSP plan to build and equip a substantial training facility on site at Manston. The exciting plans incorporate the latest in virtual and augmented reality to help develop a wide range of skills for adults and young people.

Tony Freudmann, Director of RSP, said: “The COVID pandemic has accelerated the need for adults to re-skill and up-skill as some types of jobs disappear or reduce. We are well aware that, if we are to play a key role in the recovery plans for the area, getting involved in training provision is vital.”

The reopening of the Manston freight-focused airport will create employment in a number of areas including:

Airport operations, which include cargo handling, fire and rescue, catering, security
Ecommerce integrators
Freight forwarders
UK border inspection
Fixed Base Operators
Aircraft engine maintenance and repair
Aircraft recycling
Fuel farm and refuelling operations
The Manston training facility, museum, conference facility and innovation centre

The training provision that will be available on the Manston site will also have overlap with marine businesses, wind farms and other environmental companies, tourism, leisure & hospitality, and food processing.

David Foley, Chief Executive, Thanet & East Kent Chamber said, “Of all the options available to promote skills training and job creation, the revival of airport operations at Manston is surely at the top of the list. We welcome the whollylaudable objectives of today’s announcement by the government and look forward to working with RSP to translate this new focus on adult skills into sustainable success for  school-leavers, workers, companies and indeed the whole of our local community.“