Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has launched a Data Literacy Apprenticeship to drive a digital-first culture throughout its business.

MAG, which operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, has more than 100 employees from across the Group enrolled in the first cohort of the Programme.

This programme is a key part of MAG’s strategy to enhance on-the-job training and skills development for its employees, whilst also supporting the Group’s ambition to use digital tools to maximise the efficiency of the airport experience.  

Working with training provider, Multiverse, MAG’s employees will enrol on to  one of two available courses. The first, is a 13-month Data Literacy Programme which covers the core technical skills required to transform data into insights, as well as harnessing softer skills such as building narratives and presenting findings.

The second course is an Advanced Data Fellowship. This degree-level Programme empowers learners to develop their skills in data analysis and data science, helping to power digital transformation with the Group’s airports. Fellowship learners will build core capabilities in skills required to accelerate digital transformation at MAG, including skills around technical project management and predictive modelling.

Nick Woods, CIO at Manchester Airports Group, said:

“At MAG we are focused on using technology to empower every corner of our business, and the Data Literacy Programme is an important part of that commitment.

“Working with Multiverse on this Programme will enhance our colleague’s capability to understand and work with data, which is key to our digital strategy across the Group.

“We have used the last two years to accelerate our Digital & Data strategy, which is key to our goal of creating a more efficient operation for our passengers, partners and colleagues.”

MAG is the UK’s largest group of airports and, prior to the pandemic, 60 million passengers flew through its airports annually. Alongside passenger operations, East Midlands Airport is the UK’s largest pure freight airport, handling more than 800,000 tonnes of air cargo a year (worth a total of £27.5 billion) on more than 40,000 dedicated freighter flights.

Research by the UK Government has found that almost a quarter of employees use data skills in their work, yet a shortage of skills in this area is estimated to cost UK businesses £2bn a year.  In 2019, one in 10 job vacancies required data expertise, while over 100,000 data positions remain unfilled.

Euan Blair, CEO of Multiverse, said:

“Manchester Airport Group's objective to build the airports of the future means investing in the skills of the future. Data capabilities are central to that. The launch of this world-class Data Academy will not only build those capabilities, but it also represents a significant investment in its workforce and their development."

"Apprentices on our programmes will learn vital data skills that can be applied to their work straight away.

"At Multiverse, our mission is to create an outstanding alternative to university and corporate training, and we're delighted to be partnering with Manchester Airport Group to make it happen."

Multiverse apprentices benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring and leadership programmes designed to exceed the best of the university experience.