Want to be cabin crew but did an unrelated course in ITE? Ms Indranee Rajah has some advice

Singapore Airlines stewardesses. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Singapore Airlines stewardesses. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Got a dream job in mind but worried that your education is not the right fit?

Don't fret. What is more important is that people should have the right skills, attitudies and qualities, said Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah.

Take ITE Central student Chang Hong for instance. The 20 year-old spoke to Ms Rajah last week and told her that he wanted to be a member of the aircraft cabin crew with Singapore Airlines.

But there is a hitch: He studied electronic engineering and is worried that he does not qualify for the job. He is also worried that at 20, he maybe too old and lose out to younger guys.

While airlines do not require a specific diploma to be cabin crew, Ms Indranee advised those like Chang Hong to consider a services or hospitality-related diploma if they go on to polytechnic.

Republic Poly (RP), for example, has a Diploma in Customer Relationship and Service Management which she was told has the greatest number of graduatess going on to become cabin crew. There is also the Nanyang Poly (NYP) diploma in Hospitality and Tourism management.

But beyond these qualifications, it is about having the "right aptitudes, qualities and skill sets" and "all those intangible qualities that would nail it for you", she said.

"I would look for in a cabin crew member is someone who is polite, articulate, attentive, friendly, notices small details, has a good memory ( i.e. doesn't forget what you asked for!) someone who can put you at ease and makes you feel that you are in good hands during a long flight," she posted.

"Ok, on that second point, I had to laugh - because as you can see from the photos, CH has quite a long way to go before he becomes a senior citizen. But I guess at age 20, anything beyond 30 must seem quite ancient!"

A good cabin crew must also have patience, tact and be able to remain calm in crisis, she said. Ms Indranee recalled how well the Singapore Airlines crew reacted during SQ006 crash in Taiwan.

"Those who were not injured stayed calm, and helped the passengers to evacuate first, putting others before themselves in the line of duty." she said.

Ms Indranee's advice comes amidst a push to get Singaporeans think beyond paper qualifications.

However, acknowledging she was not the expert, she called on Singapore Airlines cabin crew to share advice with young aspirants like Chang Hong, in order to help them achieve their dream of joining the team.

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