Demi Taylor and Kayley Long have just completed their Level 3 Diploma in Travel and Tourism, with both being offered permanent Cabin Crew positions aboard leading British airlines.
Demi and Kayley's journeys at Eastleigh College first began in September 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kayley was beginning the first of two years of study for her Level 3 Diploma, while Demi completed a Level 2 (one year full-time) qualification before beginning her Level 3. Now both are moving on to careers in the heart of the industry, weeks after completing their final assessments, with Kayley joining Virgin Atlantic and Demi joining Ryanair.
Due to social distancing concerns, both were required to complete their initial ten weeks of learning online and shortly after their return to College campus, they were forced back into remote learning due to a new COVID-19 outbreak. By the time they returned to College properly, it was March 2021 and their first year of study was over two thirds complete.
Kayley reflected on this challenging phase: “It was obviously not ideal for us having to do fully online learning. It can be difficult to have a private discussion with the teacher during virtual classes but our teachers Michelle and Katy made it a priority to respond to any queries we had and made themselves available for support throughout the entire process.”
I am so excited to to join the Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic. It's a big change for me having spent my life at home, but my training at Eastleigh has filled me with confidence and knowledge - I can't wait for what's next!
Both Demi and Kayley had ambitions to work for airlines from a young age. Current law in the United Kingdom allows individuals to apply to work as cabin crew from the age of 18. Among other requirements, successful applicants have to demonstrate a good level of fitness, pass a medical check and live within 90 minutes of the base they will be stationed at. As such, budding cabin crew have a number of considerations beyond the immediate responsibilities of the role. The nature of the work will likely require an individual to be uprooted from the familiarities of home life -often for the first time - and having to relocate to live closer to their airport, usually alongside colleagues from their cabin crew team.
For Demi in particular, it was a big decision to finish her Level 3 a year early and accept a position as Cabin Crew for Ryanair. “I originally intended to do the full qualification, but in my two years here I have gained such a passion for the industry, that when an opportunity like this comes along I can’t pass it up.”
Although Demi and Kayley are just beginning their careers, both already have exciting plans in place for the future. Kayley wants to work her way up the industry ladder to become a cabin supervisor, while Demi wants to progress from short-haul flights to long-haul cross-atlantic flights and become a senior crew member. Eastleigh College wishes both the best of luck for the future.