Breeze Airways has relaxed its recruitment policy to only hire university students for their flight attendant roles after a lack of suitable applicants.
Last month, Breeze Airways shared plans to solely recruit college students for their flight attendant roles. But now, the airline has decided to relax these requirements, largely due to a lack of suitable applicants. Understandably, the airline’s recruitment plans came under criticism from union representatives as a result of the discriminatory manner of the policy. A statement released by the union concluded:
“From a union’s perspective, that’s age discrimination plain and simple. This concept must be viewed for what it is – a direct assault on our profession and careers…To say it is insulting and an affront to our profession is a gross understatement.”
At the end of last month, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA – AFA United Master Executive Council analysed the airline’s programme. The initiative is targeted to students, with applicants only allowed to stay in their flight attendant roles until they finish courses. Furthermore, applicants will receive a fixed sum of $1,200 each month as well as $6,000 towards tuition for online coursework and company housing. Applicants will also be required to work 15 days per month overall.
Breeze has therefore now made some minor changes to the initiative. Whilst the airline still plans to hire students as young as 18 years old, they are also recruiting for full time flight attendant roles, with a minimum age of 20 for applicants. Applicants must still meet the requirements of possessing a high school diploma, or equivalent.
Nevertheless, despite these minor amendments, Breeze Airways is standing by its initiative, working alongside Utah Valley University to provide the programme. Speaking regarding the recruitment initiative, a Breeze spokesperson stated: “We still value and stand by the UVU program where flight attendants can get tuition reimbursement as they work and study, but we needed more flight attendants than the programme was producing. So now there are two options.”
Overall, it seems that Breeze is not dropping the initiative, amending its requirements to support the programme and encourage applicants, and is unfazed by criticism. And there are some clear benefits for university applicants, the main attraction being the contribution towards tuition fees.
However, given the current climate surrounding the pandemic, several crew members have found themselves out of work, suffering job loss due to Coronavirus. The discriminatory nature of this initiative makes an already difficult recovery seem much harder for those unfortunate enough to be left in this position. It is sure to say that Breeze has caused a stir in the industry, before it has quite taken off again.
What do you think of Breeze’s programme and hiring policy? Share your thoughts with us below!