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   Vol. 23 No. 13
Tuesday March 19, 2024

Tervetuola Airport College

Ari Ketola and Pertti Mero

     Tervetuloa! That is how you would be received by Airport College, Helsinki, if they offered their courses only in Finnish. No worries, the institution we are presenting today boasts over 30 ready-to-use online eLearning courses available worldwide 24/7 in many languages including English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Finnish, French, Thai, Spanish and more to come.
     Languages are indeed mysterious and customary at the same time. As I am Italian, for strange reasons we can read and pronounce Finnish in an absolutely impeccable manner, as many Finnish words read out without a glitch as if they were Italian, apart from the fact that they mean nothing to us at all. Perhaps Finns feel the same for Italian words, but I never investigated this idea. For sure I shall never try my skills at the restaurant again after my first and only disaster: I wanted to order reindeer in a restaurant in Helsinki and ended up with sole fish: I still have no idea how reindeer tastes to this day.
     Let us leave Helsinki’s restaurants and go back to our friends from Finland’s capital.
     Airport College International Ltd is a better idea dreamed up by Pertti: an independent company with a creative approach to training and employee engagement management. Their services are used in more than 140 countries, are represented through a partner network in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Own offices exist in Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, St. Lucia and Tokyo.
     Travelling is no worry for the enterprising couple representing the College. They have just returned from Hong Kong, the Pearl River gem, which appears to have acquired its name of “fragrant harbour” from the wonderful scent of incense that was typical of the region in former times. But before going to HK, CEO Pertti Mero and COO, Ari Ketola spent a few days networking in Kuala Lumpur, attending the 15th GHI Asian Conference in Malaysia from March 5th to 7th. Airport College International was one of the exhibitors with its own stand to meet and network with over 350 conference delegates. “It was a great opportunity to meet aviation professionals from ground handlers, airlines, airports and other service providers: meeting current and potential clients and key stakeholders from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas” was a great opportunity for both Mero and Ketola, as they told us.
     Airport College International was also one of the exhibitors at World Cargo Symposium with its own stand for meetings and networking with current and potential new clients, The event was extremely well attended, over 1,900 attendees and gave Airport College the opportunity to showcase their online eLearning training courses and concepts for ground handling agents, air cargo terminals and airlines. Pertii Mero claimed that it was a very successful show and they met with both existing and potential customers.
     So who is the ideal client of the Airport College? This is how Pertti Mero describes his typical recipient: “Our ideal clients are aviation and logistics companies or organisations that want to take advantage of the benefits of digital training for their employee development. Our clients understand the value of their employees' operational skills as the foundation for successful business and safe operations.”
     This statement reveals the expectation that the College’s customers are accomplished enterprises that “make all the right noises” when it comes organising safe and well-functioning operations. This is precisely where our friends from Helsinki appear to be best placed to assist.
     Uncertainty in the industry still exists. Despite signs of recovery, there's still considerable uncertainty in the aviation industry regarding the pace and extent of recovery. This uncertainty may make potential candidates hesitant to commit to jobs in the sector, especially if they perceive it as risky or unstable. Instability for a number of cycles created a certain degree of skills’ mismatch: the workforce that was laid off or furloughed during the pandemic may have moved on to other industries is not readily available to return to previous roles. In particular, the Airport College is looking at ground handling agents, who, like many industries, are facing difficulties in hiring workforce after COVID-19 due to several reasons, e.g. ground handling agents may struggle to find qualified candidates with the necessary experience and training.
     To address these challenges, ground handling agents may need to offer competitive terms and benefits, invest in training and development programs to address skill gaps, prioritize employee safety and well-being, and adapt their recruitment strategies to attract candidates in a competitive labour market. This is precisely where Airport College International can help Ground Handling Agents and Cargo Terminal Operators to training current and new workforce to meet international training requirements in a very cost effective way. Airport College offers a comprehensive portfolio of online eLearning training courses covering aviation safety, security and service topics. Courses vary in length from 1 to 3 hours, with the primary objective of maintaining the competence of operational staff.
     FT asked COO Ari Ketola to explain what were his views regarding the main benefits to clients. There came a list of practical gains, which we shall summarise as follows:
Regulatory compliance
    Online training courses comply with the training requirements of international aviation authorities, such as the IATA and ICAO.
Cost-efficiency–gain up to 80% of savings
    AirportCollege.com training services reduce various costs typically associated with classroom training. These include travel and accommodation, classroom or venue rental, printed learning materials and salaries. Studies indicate that eLearning has the potential to reduce training related costs significantly, by up to 80%.
Always up-to-date, multipurpose, and customisable
   AirportCollege.com work with the leading experts in aviation industry to ensure that training content is relevant and always up-to-date. eLearning courses can be used for self-study, part of blended learning or as instructors’ support material in the classroom. Course content can be customised to fit any company needs.
24/7 access to training, anywhere
   AirportCollege.com courses are self-paced, and training is available 24/7. Learners are not bound to a specific time or place to physically attend classes. Qualifications can be updated whenever needed.

     Albeit not for the client directly, additional benefits entail because we are talking of a Low Emission Training initiative and this must not be underestimated. AirportCollege.com training services reduce paper waste, emissions, and other training-related footprint by over 99%, when compared to classroom training. AirportCollege.com also compensate the CO2 emissions incurred from the use of its online courses by clients.
     So the message to our readers is pretty clear. You can surely learn from Airport College how you can improve your eLearning programme, and maybe find a couple of new friends in Finland.
     Believe me, Finland is wonderful country in all seasons and I promise: next time I fly to Helsinki I shall place my order in English and perhaps manage to eat a reindeer steak for the first time in my life . . .
Marco Sorgetti

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 23 No. 10
March Air Cargo Shows-A-Poppin
Chuckles for February 28, 2024
Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?
Buffalo Cargo Delivering At Jet Speed
Vol 23 No. 11
Bow-tie Party For The Age of PayCargo
Ingo On The Road Again
Wim Will Always Be A Winner

Vol. 23 No. 12
A Hong Kong Humdinger
IATA Priority ONE Record
Chuckles for March 13, 2024
Think Tank WCS Hong Kong
Three Big Words @ HACTL
Great Day For The Irish

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
European Editor-Marco Sorgetti • Special Commentaries Editor-Bob Rogers • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend
Film Editor-Ralph Arend

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