Prior to the pandemic Heathrow was the busiest airport in Europe, supporting 190,000 workers with 84,000 directly employed at the airport.
Aviation has been primarily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result the union has estimated that over 30,000 workers at the airport could lose their jobs by the time the pandemic ends.
In response to the growing employment challenges faced by Heathrow workers, Unite has been working with Ruskin College and local MPs Seema Malhotra and John McDonnell to create the learning hub.
The learning hub will provide hundreds of free online courses for Unite members and non-members alike. With courses such as applying for work, CV writing, redundancy support, understanding the benefit system, job vacancies and stepping into social care.
Courses will be initially delivered online in a “virtual classroom” but, as soon as it is safe to do so, many will be delivered at Unite’s Heathrow Office.
Wayne King, regional coordinating officer, Unite, said: “Tragically, thousands of workers at Heathrow have lost their jobs since the pandemic began. As a result it has never been more important to help our members, their families and all of our local communities.
“The learning hub will provide free educational skills and training which will help and support people to deal with the challenges of being made redundant and provide assistance in finding a new job.”
He added: “The courses aren’t just for people looking for work, they are for people in work as well. There are courses designed to enhance skills and knowledge at every level, delivered in ways to fit in with their life and working patterns.”
McDonnell said: “This is a massively helpful initiative from Unite. Working with the colleges, this will give local union members and their families real opportunities to gain access to the training and skills people will need for the future. With the current employment challenges people in our community are facing, it comes just at the right time.”