For school leavers and adult learners aspiring to become air cabin crew or to work within the aviation or travel industry, teaching staff at Solihull College are showing they have – from the ground to the skies – all areas covered.
With their combined industry experience of over a hundred years as cabin crew, ground staff, travel reps and trainers; tutors are arming students with the best possible knowledge for their chosen industry.
Through the tutor’s industry connections and the overall good relationship the College has with Birmingham Airport and Monarch Airways, students are able to gain valuable work experience while studying at the College. A third of all Air Cabin Crew, Aviation and Travel students go on to work in the industry.
Gerard Bergin, aviation lecturer at the College spent thirty-three years working at Birmingham Airport as a Passenger Service Agent, Supervisor and eventually a Duty Manager; he comments: “It is great to pass on my experience and knowledge to students of what the industry is like and what they should expect. The students are always keen to hear of our stories and for us; it is great to still have a connection to such an exciting industry”.
The teaching staff, along with Gerry, includes Karen Hayes who worked with Virgin and Mersk Airways as cabin crew for ten years, Janine Burgess who worked for seventeen-years as a holiday rep for Thomson, Jane Pendleton who worked as a travel agent and later within learning and development for Thomson Holidays. In addition, Karin Kostiolova has worked as a tour operator and brings experience from sales and marketing.
After becoming a Cabin Crew Trainer, Karen helped with the recruitment of new cabin crew, she comments: “I love being able to pass on my first-hand experience to students which will ultimately prepare them for the real world. We instil a very high standard of presentation within learners, which airlines will expect of job applicants. This is something former students always thank us for when they go for their dream jobs as it puts them ahead of other applicants”.
Cabin crew students are expected to wear smart uniform and maintain a professional and clean appearance when they are on campus; this is to get them ready for the standards expected of them when they apply for jobs. Learners also experience mock interviews and go through emergency cabin crew training with Monarch Airways. After leaving College, a number of students have gone on to work at Birmingham Airport, Thomson, Ryanair and Manchester Airport.
Aviation, Travel and Tourism and Air Cabin Crew qualifications are available at Solihull College for both school leavers and adult learners. The courses run at both Blossomfield and Woodlands Campuses; to find out more visit www.solihull.ac.uk/travel and toursim or call 0121 678 7000.