Sacked cabin crew should retrain as carers, the Government’s welfare chief declared today.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey claimed thousands of airline staff made redundant after planes were grounded and international travel ground to a halt in the coronavirus crisis should switch careers.
She told The Spectator: “I want to encourage them to perhaps go into teaching or go to college and to be the people who train the next lot of people who are going to do those jobs.”
She added: “How do we help draw out of them the transferable skills that they have, and that could be working in social care?
“It may not be their dream job for the rest of their lives.
“But it may well be very useful: They get more money coming in than if they’re on benefits and it can also provide something really valuable and rewarding.”
She also said cabin crew could become nurses, adding: “I’m sure other cabin crew as well who are male could make equally good nurses. It’s just whether or not people want that as a complete lifestyle change.”
Ministers are desperate for British workers to enter the care sector as the points-based immigration system looms from January 1.
The new system makes it more difficult for foreigners to fill vacancies in the industry.
It is understood the majority of social care workers won’t pass the basic test for a skilled worker because their skill level is RQF1, not RQF3.
Many also earn less than the absolute minimum salary threshold of £20,480 – let alone the usual minimum of £25,600.
Yesterday it emerged lmost 900 jobs are under threat at three airports under plans to cut costs as a result of the virus crisis.
Proposals by the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) could mean the loss of 465 roles at Manchester Airport, 376 jobs at London Stansted and 51 posts at East Midlands Airport, along with adjustments to roster patterns and other employment measures.
Unite said full-time posts under threat included security officers, engineers, customer service staff, bus drivers and car park attendants.
Meanwhile hospitality chiefs have warned pubs, clubs and restaurants will lose “far” more than half a million jobs by Christmas.
The hospitality industry still has 900,000 staff on full furlough and 400,000 on part-time furlough – a scheme which ends on October 31.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be considering a new local furlough scheme for workers in areas to be hit by the hardest local lockdowns – which could include Newcastle and Manchester.
Earlier this week Mr Sunak and DWP ministers unveiled Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS), backed by a £238 million investment, which is aimed at helping those out of work for three months.
A range of help will be offered, including specialist advice on how people can move into growing sectors, as well as CV and interview coaching.
Mr Sunak refused to rule out tax rises to pay for the pandemic.
But he told TalkRadio: “We will get through this pandemic, and once we emerge on the other side, we can grow strongly and get that vibrancy back into our cities and town centres.
“Once we get through this, we need to look at what can we do to make sure our cities remain vibrant places.”