#TurksandCaicos, July 20, 2021 – It is impressive what TCA Handling is doing at the Providenciales International Airport; inspiring teenagers toward careers in aviation through a three-year-old internship program.
Denise Westcarr is the Human Resources Manager at TCA Handling and said upper management was thrilled and supportive when she presented the idea of an internship. Now, youngsters who have been sourced at local schools have successfully matriculated to true careers as young adults in the aviation industry. Ms. Westcarr said 12 have been taken on with full time employment.
The program, started in 2018 by Westcarr, who has a background in hospitality said while the hotel industry is important the airport is the first point of contact and she toured the schools with the invitation for students from as young as 15 years old to give TCA Handling careers a try.
There has been participation from Wesley Methodist, British West Indies Collegiate, Maranatha with the most keen interest from Clement Howell High School (CHHS). The PLS or the Providenciales International Airport is the country’s leading long-stay gateway. It is the first place of contact, the last spot for interaction to all commercial airline passengers and in 2019, that figure topped half a million people.
The youngsters are learning there is more to aviation than piloting a plane and TCA Handling is an ideal teacher. The company services American Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta and British Airways. And this is no slave labour. The 34 interns on board for the summer are earning a salary and Westcarr informed they are paid “decent” money.
In terms of the areas the youngsters work, there are five departments for TCA handling and the interns work in four of them: Customer Service, Ramp, Operations and Security.
You may find them off-loading and loading baggage onto the planes, giving courtesy wheelchair service to passengers, the interns may be a part of customer service, join the Covid-19 clean up team and be a part of security.
In order to get involved, students of CHHS are encouraged to continue to express interest through the school’s Tourism Club. Students of other schools should inform their teacher of any interest. Resumes are required, an interview is set up and training for successful applicants is provided.
Denise Westcarr agrees the internship also gives her a talent pool from which she can pull as need comes to fill job openings at TCA Handling; however, her motivation is more about presenting a new career path to the youth and demonstrating that with a little faith, professional instruction and loving support from home, school and society – young people will and can work and work very well.