Investing In Our People

Meet Sarah Charsley, Director of Service APS in the UK. She emphasises on the ways Vanderlande invests in its people. This is done in various ways, encouraging our employees to challenge themselves. In this blog she explains apprenticeships and other pathways.


Sarah Charsley

Director of Service APS UK

November 2nd is National Engineering Day in the UK. Since November 2019, the Royal Academy of Engineering has led a national awareness day to raise public awareness of how engineers make a difference in the world and celebrate how engineers shape the future.

It is not lost on me how important engineering is in the work we do every day in Vanderlande. On the 28th of October, I was a part of an event where we celebrated six colleagues who are now official Vanderlande Service Technicians. Four took the traditional apprenticeship route, and two took an alternative pathway moving from our General Operative role. The event was a celebration of their achievements and an opportunity for us and their family and friends to celebrate them and let them know how proud we are of them.

We have put a lot of hard work and effort into ensuring we grow a talent pipeline through our apprenticeships and other pathways. Charlie Futerill, our Apprenticeship Manager, has been instrumental in that success. Charlie, himself an engineer, joined Vanderlande in 2018 as a Team Leader in Terminal 3 before taking on his current role. Thanks to him, we have seen significant improvements in ensuring a robust, sustainable and engaging apprenticeship route that not just meets the needs of today but is scalable for the future. The new technicians and the representative from Kingston College spoke very highly of Charlie. We are fortunate to have him lead on this for us.

Encouraging talent

We are looking at more than the apprentice route to encourage talent to come to Vanderlande. We have seen the early success at our celebration event with the two Service Technicians who joined us as General Operatives. Rob Groves and Dale Harding, Senior Service Managers, are working on the Heathrow Strategic Partnership. They define different career pathways for those who haven’t served a traditional apprenticeship but still have ambitions to become Technicians. Another route we are encouraging is via the Women in Engineering Society (WES).

Shane Taylor, Terminal 2 Maintenance Manager, working on the Heathrow Strategic Partnership, is incredibly passionate about this topic. Shane reached out to WES to actively engage with them and ensure that Vanderlande could participate in the Work Shadowing Day 2022; this is the 4th year they ran their work shadowing! I also share Shane’s passion for broadening the engineering appeal to diverse groups who may ordinarily struggle to see how they could fulfil their aspirations. I was more than happy to sponsor the Work Shadowing event in September of this year. One of the WES participants, Lina worked with us for two weeks, and here is what she said about her experience:

“I wanted to thank you for the opportunity you have given me to come to Vanderlande for some work experience. These past two weeks have been very insightful, and I learnt a lot about the different roles engineers have in Vanderlande and how the company works in general. I really appreciated how everyone was welcoming and friendly. Thank you for organising this. I am very grateful to you and everyone who gave up a bit of their time to show me their job, gave me invaluable advice for the future and took me on tours in the different terminals (definitely got my steps in!😂).”


There are lots of opportunities to develop and grow within Vanderlande. That’s why we show support and encouragement to those who want to progress and succeed, whatever their career aspirations and ambitions are.

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