A major recruitment drive is being started by Manchester Airports Group in response to expected growth over the next 15 years.

The MAG Connect initiative will visit areas close to the group’s four airports to seek new staff.

The first is being staged at a jobs fair in Tottenham in north London, 35 minutes away from Stansted by train.

The airport and train operator are providing support for people in the area who want to work at Stansted by providing an 80% discount on rail fares.

The MAG Connect concept will continue to be developed in key target areas around its airports at Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth.

Other more long-term elements of the scheme will include a new Technical Skills College at Stansted in partnership with Harlow College.

The airports group expects to play a key role in meeting growing demand for air travel before a new runway is built in the south-east of England.

MAG runs the two biggest airports in the UK with significant current runway capacity.

Manchester airport will see a new terminal and other facilities added over the coming decade in an £1 billion investment while £130 million is being spent on a new arrivals building at Stansted.

MAG’s four UK airports are estimated to have generated economic activity worth £7.1 billion in the last year, a 15% annual increase.

A claimed 5,000 jobs were created on airport and in the supply chain as a result of this growth, in industries like construction, tourism and transport, and in businesses that rely on connections to global import and export markets.

MAG chief executive, Charlie Cornish, said: “Our airports are critical contributors to the ongoing economic health of the country, providing a gateway for welcome foreign investment and ensuring that the UK is able to meet the growing demand from international leisure and business travellers.

“Increasingly, our airports are also providing hubs for a vibrant global air cargo industry, spurred on by the huge growth in e-commerce.

“We also know that delivering growth in the right way is key to securing the support of our stakeholders, and as our airports continue to grow over the coming years, we recognise the importance to local communities of being able to deliver this growth while managing the environmental impacts associated with our operations.”

Employment minister Damian Hinds added: “With record levels of employment, businesses should be looking for new ways to fill vacancies.

“Today’s announcement will not only help more local people find work, it’s also an excellent example of a company working innovatively with Jobcentre Plus to benefit the local Tottenham area.”