Reply To: 83.2% Vote for Industrial Action

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Sorry, there has been a lot of rather uninformed talk about the standard of the newer recruits to BA.

I have been involved in recruitment for a few years. Standard procedure is to assess whether or not the candidate meets the initial criteria in terms of hard and soft skills. Age has nothing to do with it. In fact, in the current climate, you are ill advised to make decisions based on age as you will wind up on the wrong end of a court judgement. Now I cannot speak for BA, but I would think that their recruitment processes might be more stringent than my outfit. They may insist that candidates provide evidence that they meet all criteria as opposed to meet the majority and maybe not show evidence in one or two minor areas.

I’ve also been casting over a couple of other forums and get the impression that the majority of the new joiners at BA have previously worked as cabin crew, either as temps or for other airlines like Virgin or for charter carriers. This is somewhat at odds with the line being touted by some that they are all ‘gap year students’.

I also note from BA’s web site that promotion in the new fleet will be based on merit. Picking up on NTarrant’s point about the fact that cabin crew only come together as a team for short spells , I would consequently expect that part of the selection criteria would be for highly motivated, team oriented people. The sort who can behave in a professional manner and work together for the common good. I think it is probably quite hard to sustain that level of behaviour over a long period of time and eventually people do get burnt out. That is the point at which they need to recognise that it is time for a change. I’m thus not convinced that there is a such a thing as a career for the basic cabin crew. I can see that there is something if you go for advancement into one of the supervisory roles, but that opportunity will not be open for all.

Finally, there is a deal of difference between length of service and experience and capability. I have a staff member who has significant length of service, his experience is nowhere near that of one of his colleagues who has been with the company for two years. Why ? Because the colleague has worked for a range of different companies in our industry over the past ten years and brings a breadth that working for one outfit for 15 years simply doesn’t provide.

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