Career Advice Recruitment tips

A great way to train and fly

Singapore Airlines is offering young ladies and lads in Hong Kong the chance to represent the airline. The successful ambassadors will become an iconic "Singapore Girl" - or boy.

"The Singapore Girl epitomises the airline's tradition of friendliness and Asian hospitality. She is one of the airline's most prominent figures," says Alvin Seah, general manager Hong Kong, Singapore Airlines.

The company occasionally undertakes foreign crew recruitment to supplement the hiring it carries out locally. This serves to support its foreign language requirements. These linguistic skills are particularly in demand on routes to China, Korea and Japan, Seah adds.

There is no specific number of positions that the airline is looking to fill, as much depends on the quality of applicants, but all candidates will be considered irrespective of gender.

The interviews and assessments will be held on September 17 and 18, including one-on-one interviews and situational exercises to see if the applicant has a pleasant and service-oriented disposition and the ability to maintain composure and tact in difficult situations. English language ability and communication skills, generally, are also important.

The airline, which flies to 35 countries and 64 destinations, offers 15 weeks of training, which is almost double the industry standard. It includes classroom and on-the-job training, and encompasses company knowledge and values, cabin product service delivery, customer service and passenger handling skills, meal service procedures - including food knowledge and wine appreciation courses - security, safety and first aid procedures, fundamentals of social etiquette and personal grooming.

The training is conducted at the airline's Cabin Crew Training Centre, which has computer-based learning classrooms, and facilities for grooming, deportment and wine appreciation, as well as cabin mock-ups of various aircraft types. A small proportion of courses, such as food and beverage and language lessons, are conducted at external venues due to the resources available there.

"The extensive training for our cabin crew is one of the factors that differentiates Singapore Airlines' service from other carriers," says Seah, adding that further training is available for staff for career development.

"We also support our crew's participation in extra-curricular activities, such as wine appreciation and personal grooming courses, as many of these are enhancements to existing programmes and contribute to the overall training and development of our crew," Seah adds.

For efficient rostering, overseas crew are based in Singapore for their training and during their employment.

Candidates must be at least 18 years old, citizens of Hong Kong, and diploma or degree holders. They will be expected to fly about 80 hours per month and can expect to earn S$3,500 (about HK$22,000) monthly. A one-month bonus and a share of the profits every year may be awarded at the discretion of the employer. Employees are also eligible to fly to one destination on the route map per year, free of charge, and will receive discounted travel fares at other times during the year.