Published: 14:14, 07 October 2020
| Updated: 14:21, 07 October 2020
Cabin crew grounded by Covid-19 have landed back at MidKent College.
Bosses are utilising their first-class customer service skills to help settle new students into a different working environment.
Having gained their "wings" on the college's cabin crew programme, many who went on to secure top jobs with world-class airlines, have been furloughed or made redundant.
Principal Simon Cook said: "The last six months have been really unsettling for all of us, but in particular for young people who didn't really get a proper 'end' to their time at school before joining us.
"The disruption to their education, along with the challenge of finding themselves in a new learning environment is significant.
"We hope by employing some of our most customer-focused former students with skills in putting people at ease, we'll be able to help our new students feel comfortable and confident and lay down the roots for a successful few years preparing for their own careers."
Reece Brookes, a former student who has returned as a staff member, said: "MidKent College was a very important part of my education – it was an experience I’ll never forget.
"This new role has given me the opportunity to give back by being there to provide support and encouragement to students from all walks of life.”
Fellow engagement mentor, Paige Collins, said: "I can relate to some of the challenges students face, and am really pleased I can make a difference by supporting them.
"I know how important it is to have a friendly face around college. I leave work every day with a smile, and meet so many amazing students that it really brightens my day."
Travel and tourism lecturer Lisa Russell said: "Every year we're proud to see our students progress into their dream jobs, and so grateful they take the time to come back and speak to current students about their experiences of being recruited by major airlines, and the ways they put their skills and knowledge into practice on flights.
"While it saddens us to see the impact Covid-19 has had on their careers, it's really encouraging to see that the skills they have developed with us, and in work, are helping them to secure work in other sectors at the moment.
"We’re delighted to have them back with us, but look forward to seeing them back in the air again soon."