To run one of the biggest airlines in the world, requires well trained and professional employees. And the fact that Emirates Airline is so closely tied with dnata, a mammoth ground operations handler, and Dubai International Airport, the fourth-busiest airport in the world, makes its employee circle that much wider. It is no small task to train some of the almost 40,000 people (excluding cabin crew & flight crew) who work at Emirates and dnata, but it is done by Emirates Group Learning & Development at Emirates Aviation College. “The majority of our work is for Emirates, but we still cover a large share of dnata’s requirements too,” says Brendan Noonan, senior vice president, Emirates Group learning and development at the college’s Building B. “The trainees come from all over the world, from as far afield as Los Angeles and Sydney or as close as Al Ain, Sharjah and Dubai.”
Dubai Aviation College was established in 1991 by the Department of Civil Aviation, initially to provide aviation-related training to private students and corporate clients. The College has since expanded and diversified and now offers an extensive range of educational opportunities designed to provide aviation-related specialisations that service both the technical and management sides of the aviation industry. In September 2001, the Dubai Aviation College was merged with Emirates Training College and today forms the ‘academic wing’ of the Emirates Aviation College Group.
There are three colleges at the Aviation College. Building A is the academic building with classrooms and all of the undergraduate and postgraduate classes are offered there. External students can gain qualifications that give them opportunities to join Emirates or a variety of other airlines after receiving training there. It is also the home of Emirates Flight Crew Training. Last year, the academic college introduced four new programmes to support the functions of safety and security.
Building C is the crew building, which houses simulators for pilots and cabin crew to practice in real-life environments.
Building B handles all elements of corporate training, including operational training for airport and cargo, commercial training for call centres, retail offices and sales training, strategic service initiatives, manages service enhancement projects throughout the group, IT training and also English language training for national staff who work in dnata or Emirates. It also has an extensive e-learning department that manages and builds e-learning content and programmes for the group and also provides expertise to select third party requirements. “E-learning is a very powerful tool for us as we use it as a support mechanism in a blended learning process,” Noonan says. Either before or after a candidate comes for training, h/she is required to complete e-learning modules in their own time outside the classroom. Building B also has an in-house quality and standards division to ensure all trainers are developed and top quality programmes are produced to meet company needs.