FLYING HIGH: BRITISH AIRWAYS’ EMERGING TALENT LEADER, MELISSA RICHARDSON, EARNS AN MBE IN THE NEW YEARS HONOURS LIST
Melissa Richardson (née Kose) has received an MBE in The King’s New Year Honors List 2024 for her exceptional contributions to nurturing early careers in aviation at British Airways.
- Melissa Richardson (née Kose), 30, from Staplehurst in Kent, has earned the prestigious Services to Early Careers in Aviation accolade.
- Mel has inspired more than 175,000 young people from all life backgrounds to consider a career in the aviation industry.
Starting as an apprentice in 2012, Mel has been a driving force behind British Airways’ acclaimed emerging talent programs. She has provided invaluable work experience and employment opportunities to youth across the UK. A graduate of Wrotham Secondary School in Sevenoaks, Melissa has encouraged over 175,000 young people to pursue aviation careers. She has elevated the profile of the airline’s award-winning graduate, apprentice, business placement, and work experience initiatives. To address the skills gap, Mel has collaborated with various airline teams to introduce specialized graduate and apprenticeship programs and launch inspiring campaigns to attract future talent.
The New Years Honours List marks people’s outstanding contributions and achievements for their work in areas including youth engagement, community work, and sustained public service.
Shaping Student Lives
Upon receiving her MBE, Melissa Richardson said: “I am truly honored and extremely humbled to have been awarded with an MBE for Services to Early Careers in Aviation. I am very lucky that my job is my passion, and I have been able to shape the lives of so many students, raising aspirations and working with young people from all walks of life over the last decade. I am excited about the opportunities this award will give me in continuing to support the next generation.”
Lisa Tremble, British Airways Chief People, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer, said: “I am delighted Melissa has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to our business and wider society for Services to Early Careers in Aviation. Her ongoing passion for inspiring the young people of today to consider a career in our thriving industry is infectious, and she is a true inspiration to us all.”
Partnership With The Prince’s Trust
Furthermore, Mel has played a key role in British Airways’ partnership with The Prince’s Trust. The “Get into Aviation with British Airways” program provides work experience opportunities and apprenticeship programs for young Londoners seeking careers in the industry. This reflects British Airways’ dedication to fostering diverse talent and equal opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds.
Speedbird-Z Student Website
Mel also supercharged the launch of Speedbird-Z, a dedicated student website where individuals can complete e-learning modules. Over 17,000 students have accessed the online platform to ask British Airways mentors questions. They can also register their interest in applying for work experience placements across the airline.