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About Finding an Employer

You MUST have an employer before you can start an apprenticeship. You can search for an apprenticeship job here.

If you don't yet have an employer you can still apply for an apprenticeship while you continue to look. We can offer you advice on how to successfully secure an apprenticeship with an employer.


Typically duration is 12 months – 1 day a week in College & 4 days a week in the workplace


Airside operators are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the airfield team, and spend much of their working day or night out on the airfield patrolling, inspecting and then addressing situations to ensure that the flow of arriving and departing aircraft are on schedule. Although every airport is slightly different, the role covers a multitude of tasks including area inspections; patrolling the perimeter fence around the airport; monitoring bird activity and clearing wildlife using specialist vehicles and equipment; monitoring aircraft turnarounds and marshalling. The airside operator works in a high risk, safety critical environment requiring excellent communication, prioritising, effective decision making, problem solving and technical skills. The role requires a keen sense of situational awareness and the need to work safely to minimise incidents and accidents. This qualification is supported by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Am I ready to start?

Minimum 5 GCSEs at grades 3-9. Interview and reference.

What does the course involve?

The course covers the essential Skills, knowledge and behaviours required across 13 key areas. These include:

  • Technical Operations
  • Safety
  • Business
  • Environment
  • Leadership
  • Contingency Planning
  • The Customer

Final End Point Assessment involves a combination of a 1 hr examination, 2 Observations and a professional discussion. Learners must pass all 3 elements to complete the apprenticeship.

You will also be expected to collate a portfolio of evidence throughout the apprenticeship.

This qualification is graded Pass/Fail

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

On successful completion of this qualification learners can progress to a supervisory position within the workplace or progress to a higher level apprenticeship as an Aviation Ground Specialist.

The Aviation industry offers many exciting career opportunities and we provide clear pathways to a successful career. This qualification is the first stepping stone towards a number of exciting and sustainable careers within the aviation industry and many other businesses.   Example job roles include flight operations, aircraft ramp handler, Flight dispatcher, ground handling agent and many more. Further study and experience can lead you to becoming a Ground Operations Manager, Team Leader or an Operations Co-ordinator.

We currently work closely with a number of companies to ensure learners are developing the skills they require to successfully progress into a sustainable career with a reputable business.

Approval Status

Subject to approval by awarding organisation

Got a job?

You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.

If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.

Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.

An apprenticeship comprises two parts:

  • Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
  • 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.

Great, so what do I do now?

Call 01279 868240 to speak to an Apprenticeships adviser

Contact us about applying for an Apprenticeship