July 2023

Flying high! Aviation and tourism students see careers take off with Ryanair

By Killoran Wills

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College students training to become cabin crew or make their mark in tourism have reached for the sky and landed dream jobs with Ryanair.

Welcoming the airline's Ethan Hardy to the Summer Row Aviation and Tourism suite, students enjoyed a presentation before seeing how they measured up in a real-life interview situation.

And for six Level 2 Cabin Crew students and Level 3 Tourism, Aviation, Events and Hospitality students, it resulted in a firm job offer with the Irish short haul airline – while another offer is imminent.

One of the successful students was 19-year-old Kodi-Leigh Lennon from Stourbridge, who will now start cabin crew training with the company in September.

It is her dream job, but something she didn’t know how to access until she came to University College Birmingham.

“I had always liked the idea of working in cabin crew but I didn’t know how to get into it, said Kodi-Leigh, who was attracted by the facilities at the college, especially the aviation suite. "I decided I would find out more by doing a course."

“It was different,” added Kodi, who took her cabin crew Level 2 qualification, before topping up with the Level 3 travel and tourism course. “It gave me a real insight into aviation and how it all works.

“I found it really good and enjoyed the teachers. They had all worked in the industry and could give advice on everything, not just what you were learning about. I would recommend it to anyone.”

"This really is an excellent experience and opportunity for us to have this link and relationship with Ryanair, but also for the students who are nearing the end of their course."

Anne McCarron Senior Curriculum Leader

Jodi-Leigh will be staying in Birmingham for her six week training course with Ryanair before shadowing crew on three to four flights before taking up full responsibility. Ultimately, she has long haul flights in her sights but is keen to build up experience on shorter routes.

As for the interview, Kodi-Leigh says she felt well prepared and therefore it was pretty straightforward. But there was a nail-biting 10 day wait before she received her confirmation email. “I was so relieved,” she admits.

Ethan said he was impressed with the students and their knowledge as well as the state-of-the-art mock plane cabin, check-in and security areas. It was his first recruitment event with University College Birmingham – but he aims to be back for more, meaning more students will benefit from exposure to the industry and potential job opportunities in the future.

Anne McCarron, Senior Curriculum Leader, said: “Ethan is happy to come and talk to the new students both tourism and cabin crew later in the year. He has also indicated that he would be very happy to come back and do a recruitment day again, around the same time next year.

“This really is an excellent experience and opportunity for us to have this link and relationship with Ryanair, but also for the students who are nearing the end of their course.”

Students have also worked part-time at nearby Birmingham International Airport, and with the airport’s £500 million expansion plan to become the ‘Midlands Gateway to the World’, there are fantastic opportunities on the doorstep both during and after studies.

Research shows employers are reluctant to recruit without relevant work experience which is why the aviation school also offers the option of a four-year degree with a 48-week paid work placement, giving students a distinct advantage in a competitive job market.

As a centre of excellence for hospitality, travel and tourism training, we offer college courses in cabin crew and travel and tourism, but can also take you much further and increase your career potential with degrees such as:

Find out more about our Department of Hospitality and Tourism.

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