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Please note that all courses are subject to a minimum application number in order to run

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 18-24 months – 1 day a week in College & 4 days a week in the workplace


An aviation operations specialist could work in a number of aviation environments, such as a commercial airport, military base / aerodrome, heliport or other airfield. Specialist roles, all focussed around the arrival, turnaround and departure of aircraft and maintaining an aviation operation, will include knowledge, skills and behaviours to complete complex aviation tasks and may include supervision of others to enable compliance with regulations through a safe, secure and effective aviation operation. These functions may include loading and unloading of aircraft, air traffic control (ATC), movement of aircraft and vehicles airside and the management of passengers both airside and landside. The functions all work as part of a combined team, within which communication with wider colleagues and other stakeholders is essential and the aviation operations specialist plays a key part of a coherent operation.

Am I ready to start?

4 GCSEs at grades 3-9. Interview and reference.

What does the course involve?

The course covers the essential Skills, knowledge and behaviours required across 9 key areas. These include:

  • Security
  • Safety
  • Compliance and Legislation
  • Aviation Systems
  • Disruption, Incidents and Emergencies

Individuals will also complete one of five specialist functions. These Include:

  • Aircraft Handling
  • Aircraft Movement
  • Fire Fighter
  • Flight Operations
  • Passenger Operations

How and when will I study?

Apprenticeship Standards are assessed through independent end point assessors. Your role as an apprentice may vary depending on your employer. Learners that have not yet achieved a minimum of grade 4 or C in GCSE English and Maths will be required to complete a Level 2 functional skill qualification.

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/Merit/Distinction/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 Operations Manager Apprenticeship.

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