The city's university is flying high after announcing a partnership with one of the global aircraft company.
The University of Sunderland has announced an exclusive partnership with a world-leading airport passenger and cargo service, Swissport International Ltd.
The company, with is a global leader in airport passenger ground and air cargo services, is set to play a key role in supporting students seeking careers in the aviation sector.
The tourism, hospitality and events department at the University of Sunderland has become a member of the Swissport Academy which will provide exclusive graduate recruitment opportunities for students.
This collaboration will also explore continuous learning opportunities including airport visits, experiential learning, and guest speakers from Swissport to develop in-demand skills in the industry.
It comes as the university prepares to recruit tourism and aviation management students from September 2019 onwards.
The guarantee of an interview for a graduate scheme of an international business will help provide a clear route to employment for students taking this programme.
Prof Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism at the University of Sunderland, said: "The partnership between the university and Swissport represents the very best of opportunities for our students to gain experience and develop their career with a truly global company.
"Students will come into contact with the cutting edge of industry operations and gain highly valuable managerial insight from Swissport, a world-leading organisation. The organisation will also benefit from a supply of talent who have been developed specifically to serve the needs of this fast-moving industry. It’s a really innovative approach."
Nicola Beveridge, Swissport International Ltd, Recruitment Services Manager, said: "We are delighted with the partnership with the university and to offer students the opportunity to join our business in a variety of different roles. It gives them a stepping stone that often many students lack at the end of a hard few years studying.
"We hope this is a long partnership that teaches students that real opportunities lie at the end of their hard work."
Dr James Scott, University of Sunderland, Head of Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Events, said: "We are delighted to be working with Swissport, their input to our curriculum design has been essential in providing a course that embeds real world scenarios into the programme.
"Being part of the Swissport Academy provides students with an opportunity to graduate and work in an area directly related to their study."
And senior lecturer, Serkan Uzunogullari, said: "We are extremely proud of our partnership with Swissport, which will allow us to embed higher-level and aviation-specific skills and knowledge to our tourism and aviation management programme.
"The partnership will also ensure that the tourism and aviation programme content meets the aviation employers’ needs and opens students’ eyes to exciting career opportunities within the industry."