Arden Grove Infant

& Nursery School


The Wensum Trust has teamed up with KLM UK Engineering to inspire the next generation of aviation engineers.

The Trust, which has 11 schools in Norfolk, is launching a new partnership with KLM UK Engineering to break down the barriers that prevent the younger generation from pursuing a career in aviation.

Informing and engaging pupils from a young age is key and by providing young people with knowledge and skills around engineering, the partnership aims to improve accessibility to an industry which is facing a £1.5 billion skills shortage in the UK. Students can also pursue a direct career path into aviation with KLM UK Engineering’s apprenticeship scheme.

As part of the partnership, KLM UK Engineering apprentices and engineers will go into schools to talk about aviation engineering. Children will also visit the International Aviation Academy Norwich, which hosts a live Boeing 737 aircraft, to learn more about aircraft and engineering, and to become immersed in a professional hangar environment, which will support their learning in the classroom.

The launch of the partnership took place at the International Aviation Academy in Norwich on Friday 8th December. It was attended by representatives from the Wensum Trust, KLM UK Engineering, Chloe Smith MP, and children from Hellesdon High School, Firside Junior School and Heather Avenue Infant School.

John Smith, Chair of Trustees for the Wensum Trust, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to develop this partnership with KLM UK Engineering. We are extremely lucky to have such a world renowned aircraft maintenance and repair organisation on our doorstep, which will inspire young people and encourage them to consider the many different opportunities available to them in their future. This is the latest in a number of unique partnerships we have already established, which are incredibly important in helping young people better understand the value of education.”

David Holmes, Maintenance and Training Director at KLM UK Engineering, said: “This partnership will help us to build on our commitment to training the next generation of aircraft engineers. I’m excited by how we can support the great work that the Wensum Trust already does to champion each student’s skills and interests, and together we can support young people wishing to pursue careers in aviation maintenance.”

MP for Norwich North, Chloe Smith, who is also a member of the Wensum Trust, said: "I’m thrilled that local students from infant school to sixth form will benefit from this partnership. I have worked closely with the Wensum Trust, KLM Engineering and the Aviation Academy for many years and this partnership is a perfect expression of the opportunities they all have to offer. 

"It will allow young people to explore the great assets we have at Norwich Airport, and allow significant employers like KLM to develop their next generation of talent."

As part of the partnership launch, KLM UK Engineering are sponsoring a group of children from Hellesdon High School who are planning to travel to Ecuador next summer. 15 children from Years 10, 11 and 12 will take part in the four-week trip during which they will help local people with community projects, such as building schools and toilets, planting trees in the Amazon Forest, and taking part in the three peak challenge. It will also allow students to develop key life skills, as well as providing a culturally enriching experience.

KLM UK Engineering are donating £5000 towards the trip, which Hellesdon High Principal, Tom Rolfe, says will make a big difference. “We are very grateful to the team at KLM UK Engineering for this generation donation. Each student needs to raise £4,100 to take part in the trip and this sponsorship will significantly help towards each student’s fundraising efforts.”