Aspiring Aircraft Mechanic Olivia Theasby’s career is off to a flying start after securing an apprenticeship with global aviation firm Willis Lease Finance Corporation (WLFC) and its wholly owned subsidiary Willis Aviation Services Limited (WASL).
Olivia, 20, from Hartlepool, is set to start her apprenticeship with the firm as an Apprentice Aircraft Mechanic this September, having completed her Level 3 aeronautical engineering qualification with Hartlepool College of Further Education.
This comes just weeks after WLFC announced plans for substantial investment in the airport of up to £25million. This includes plans for a new aircraft maintenance facility and a state-of-the-art Jet Centre by Willis, dubbed the Aviation Village, potentially creating a significant number of jobs for local workers.
WLFC has been based at Teesside since 2020 and could bring 200 well-paid jobs to the region with its developments, including apprenticeships like Olivia’s.
Olivia said: “I can’t wait to start my apprenticeship and learn more in-depth, advanced practical skills, alongside more demanding theory at Hartlepool College, to work towards my licensing and further my Aircraft Engineering career at Willis.
“It’s amazing to have this opportunity in the aerospace industry so close to home. If it weren’t for Teesside International Airport and Willis’ base there I would have had to look much further afield to get started in my career.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Having a packed terminal and schedule of routes and holiday flights is obviously what our passengers want to see, but creating good-quality, well paid opportunities for local people across Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool goes one step further.
“It shows how businesses already based there are backing our airport, seeing growth and success which benefits our local communities and economy. This is just the start of our plans, as we press forward with our Southside development and cargo handing facility.
“It also means that young people like Olivia can stay local and go far and land their dream careers without having to move to cities like Newcastle, Manchester, or London. I wish Olivia the very best of luck as she takes on her new role next month.”