ITE students to get cabin crew training from budget carriers

Mr Lee Lik Hsin, CEO of Budget Aviation Holdings (in white shirt) and Mr Bruce Poh, CEO of ITE (in black jacket), with ITE students and Scoot and Tigerair staff. Cabin crew interns joining next year will earn full-time pay.
Mr Lee Lik Hsin, CEO of Budget Aviation Holdings (in white shirt) and Mr Bruce Poh, CEO of ITE (in black jacket), with ITE students and Scoot and Tigerair staff. Cabin crew interns joining next year will earn full-time pay. PHOTO: ITE

They may be interns, but Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students who join Scoot and Tigerair as cabin crew from next year will earn the same pay as full-time staff from the two carriers.

They will be given gross monthly salaries of $2,200 to $2,400, as they would have gone through six to eight weeks of training at the airlines and will carry out the same duties on board.

This amount is one of the highest for interns here - typically, the monthly allowance for ITE and polytechnic interns ranges from $450 to slightly more than $1,000.

The work stints were announced yesterday at an event where ITE signed a five-year agreement with Scoot and Tigerair. It is the ITE's first partnership with both budget airlines.

The carriers will take in about 20 ITE students for cabin crew roles. Their stints will last six months, after which they can opt to take up the job full-time upon graduation. The students will come from ITE's School of Business and Services.

Depending on operational needs, the carriers may also offer internships in departments such as engineering or flight operations.

First-year ITE travel and tourism student Mohamad Harris, 18, is keen to be a cabin crew member. He said: "The full-time pay is attractive. I like serving people and I'll get to travel and meet new people."

Students will also get to practise skills such as preparing airline meals and serving passengers, with a new cabin training facility to be ready next year .

The Scoot-Tigerair Service Skills Centre, which will be built at the ITE College West campus in Choa Chu Kang, will house a mock 30-seat cabin, galley and lavatory.

Said ITE chief executive Bruce Poh: "Through active learning and on-the-job training, those who pass through our doors will be firmly placed on the path to success as skilled service professionals in the airline sector, and contribute to Singapore's standing as a major aviation and tourist hub."

From next year, students can also take a new module in passenger service excellence to learn about providing customised service for passengers. The 60-hour course will be conducted over several months.

ITE and both carriers will also develop e-learning and training videos for students and airline crew.

Mr Lee Lik Hsin, chief executive of Budget Aviation Holdings, which operates both carriers, said Scoot and Tigerair are "growing very fast" and there is an "ever-increasing need for cabin crew".

Reaching out to educational institutions such as the ITE is part of the plan to build up skilled manpower for the aviation industry, he added.

Scoot and Tigerair currently have 600 and 420 cabin crew members respectively, and are expecting a 20 to 25 per cent growth in crew recruitment in the next 21/2 years.

ITE graduates currently make up about 5 per cent of both airlines' staff and about 9 per cent of their cabin crew.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'ITE students to get cabin crew training from budget carriers'. Print Edition | Subscribe