Skip to main content

Career Development

We are committed to supporting our employees. We maintain a target of 35 hours of training per employee during each year and we exceeded this target in 2016, with an average of 36 hours.

Performance Management

Performance Management is the continuous process of setting objectives, assessing progress and providing ongoing coaching and feedback to ensure that employees are meeting their objectives and career goals. As part of this program, employees outline their objectives and development plans each year and then meet with their managers to obtain performance feedback and ideas for improvement, culminating in a final review. In 2016, we achieved a 94 per cent completion rate for Union employees and a 93 per cent completion rate for excluded employees.

Continuous Learning

Our Human Resources team manages a number of programs that support continuous learning and development.

In 2016, we offered 218 courses through the Corporate Learning and Development Program, many of which were led by our employees. This program is available to all employees and includes a mix of internal and external courses, aligned to desired learning outcomes.

Through our Management and Leadership Development Program, we provide guidance to help our leaders grow. Our managers are enrolled in a five-year certificate program with the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. In addition, all Directors will participate in Rotman’s Executive Leadership Development Program.

We provide access to a number of online courses. This includes Harvard Manage Mentor, a learning and performance support resource that combines the latest in thinking and proven practices from Harvard Business Publishing’s world-class experts, as well as LifeSpeak on Demand, which offers modules ranging from diversity to stress management and resilience to financial planning and relationship health. In 2016, we asked our employees to complete a Business Ethics course and invited them to share relevant scenarios that they may have encountered or experienced so that we can create a customized, YVR-specific Business Ethics training program for 2017.

We continued to support YVR’s Managing My Career, a process that assists employees in developing their custom career development plans. Located on YVR’s corporate intranet, employees have access to guidelines, a process map, a checklist and career success stories. They also have access to myLearning, a library that contains all courses available for Airport Authority employees including instructor-led training or computer-based training.


We offered several programs with a focus on innovation—one of our key values. We partnered with the Sauder School of Business to offer a new YVR Innovator course to employees, modeled on our successful Creativity and Innovation course from the previous year. We also offered a new, two-hour program called Foursight, which looks at how employees bring innovative approaches through their own perspectives.

Growing Good Ideas: At YVR, we love watching great ideas take off. Our new Innovation Accelerators program encourages employees to pitch their creative ideas by planting a seed in the Innovative Garden, located on YVR’s corporate intranet, with the aim of receiving funding for a pilot. As an idea gains traction and support, it grows from a seed to a full flower and is then trialled at the airport.

We received 54 great ideas in 2016 and six of these fully blossomed into tangible projects. This included an internal employee directory, a centralized waste sorting station for YVR’s food courts, safety guards between airline check-in desks and the baggage belt (to minimize lost items and maintenance) and a custom-designed dashboard for taxi usage to help manage fleet deployment. We look forward to many more great ideas in 2017 and turning last year’s winners into real airport improvements.

Formal Education

Our HR team supports a number of formal education programs, including the Industry Training Authority Apprenticeship Program, external training for professional development and a Long-Term Education program where we offer up to $20,000 of tuition reimbursement on the successful completion of education programs. We also provide up to 20 scholarships each year for our employees’ children and in 2016 five employees accessed this program, receiving $750 per scholarship.

YVR has an active paid co-op student program that provides an exciting and valuable environment for training and career exploration. In 2016, we filled 51 four-month co-op terms with bright, young professionals. These individuals brought fresh new ideas and perspectives to YVR. Over the years, a number of students who started through co-op programs have moved on to become permanent members of the team.

Skilled Trades

To ensure we maintain a diversified team, we encourage our skilled trades employees and supervisors to develop a second trade. In 2016, 77 per cent of our eligible maintenance trade groups were dual-ticketed or in the process of becoming dual-ticketed. We also supported eight tradespersons who completed 1,280 hours in classroom training, 9,120 hours in practical training and 28,175 in total workplace hours in their respective program.

Training Hours

We invested 17,257 training hours for Airport Authority employees in 2016, averaging 36 training hours per person. All full-time, part-time, term and casual employees are included in this count, for a total of 476 employees (189 women, 287 men) as of December 31, 2016. Casual employees are included in this count as some operate in high-risk positions and partake in a number of health and safety-related training courses. Apprenticeship classroom training hours are included and students are not included.

  Total Training Hours Average
Women 7,100 37 hours per person
Men 10,157 35 hours per person
Total 17,257 36 hours per person

Unionized (348) and excluded (128) employees received an average of 35 hours and 39 hours of training, respectively, in 2016.

Employee Class Total Training Hours Average
Excluded 5,001 38 hours per person
Unionized 12,256 35 hours per person

In 2016, we had 135 employees in high-risk positions. On average, these employees received more than twice the hours of health and safety training as employees in low-risk positions.

  Total Training Hours Average
High Risk 1,429 11 hours per person
Low Risk 1,573 5 hours per person
Total 3,002 6 hours per person


In 2016, we continued our tradition of recognizing employees in meaningful and creative ways.

Our Stellar Awards reflect our core values and are the highest form of recognition YVR employees can receive. At our 2016 holiday party, we handed out three awards for safety, accountability and innovation to individuals and a teamwork award to a deserving team.

Sophie Wang, our Aviation Marketing Analyst, was awarded the Stellar Award for Innovation in 2016. Sophie built a database on her own to help increase our business intelligence knowledge when pitching to airlines. She took classes on the weekends to learn how to use the software and then built a customized version for YVR. In addition to delivering exceptional work, she constantly challenges herself and others around her to find better ways of doing things—which made her an exceptional choice for this award.

The Bravo Awards recognize those who have gone above and beyond their regular scope of duties. These awards range from thank-you cards to gift certificates. In 2016, we gave 169 to exceptional employees.

The Long Service Awards celebrate the long-term commitment of employees who have worked for the Airport Authority for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years at an annual banquet with the Board of Directors and Executive Team. In 2016, we presented 86 of these awards—a sharp increase from 48 in 2015.

We use cookies to improve user experience, and by using this site, you consent to the use of cookies. Learn more and how to manage your preferences on our Privacy page.