Aviation

Qantas staff chart new career flight path during COVID-19

Temporarily stood-down Qantas staff are being given an opportunity to transfer existing skills to new work as at-home carers.

Careseekers is a digital platform that connects independent aged care and disability support workers with families and individuals needing at home care.

With an increase in demand for at-home and virtual support during the coronavirus pandemic, the company evolved its model to create a range of new initiatives for all types of care and needs.

As a result, Carseekers has opened the door to employment for out-of-work Australians, including Qantas staff, who possess a relevant and transferrable skill-set for caring.

Among them is cabin manager Ross, who has worked at Qantas since 2000 and is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and learning Portuguese.

On a typical day, Ross is in charge of flights of up to 400 people and directly accountable for safety and service, as well as managing inflight emergencies, security issues, and drunken and violent passengers.

During the pandemic, he is also working as a support worker for Qantas staff, helping them get through this emotionally challenging time.

Another is Francine, who has spent the last 24 years as cabin crew member for Qantas in business- and first-class cabins. At the same time, she is a yoga teacher and has her own yoga business.

Francine is currently finishing a course in yoga for seniors and people with disabilities.

Careseekers CEO Marissa Sandler said her company was delighted to welcome Qantas staff to its community of care and support workers.

“We all trust Qantas staff to get us to our destinations when flying, and now you can bring that same trust into your home, on the ground,” she said.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer users of our platform access to this exceptional workforce and to continue to provide essential services to our community.”

In addition, Qatar Airways cabin crew member Maria has found a way to transfer vital skills from her work in aviation to work as a carer.

“I have worked in the hospitality and travel industry for over 40 years, most recently as an onboard manager for Qantas Airways,” she said.

“I have loved the opportunities provided through this career path and was devastated for the travel community when COVID-19 hit.

“Fortunately, I have been able to transfer my skills into a new role with Careseekers; one that still allows me to interact with people of all ages and provide support, from social companionship to running errands.

“It is great to know I can make a difference.”


Featured image: iStock/PIKSEL

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