Hewitt Joins easyJet in Anti Ageism Campaign


Today Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt joined easyJet in its campaign to banish ageism in the workplace. Ms Hewitt has announced that she will unveil new proposals designed to outlaw age discrimination in employment.

easyJet

welcomes the plans of changes in employment law. This is the first time any legislation to prevent age discrimination has been introduced, and it will be the biggest change in employment law in a several years. Under the new rules employers cannot specify a required age for a job or prevent older employees from applying for training schemes.


Ageism is a tradition that has long festered in the airline industry, particularly in the role of cabin crew. Many airlines sadly do not see the potential of mature staff, BA retire many cabin crew at 55 years old, Virgin will not consider applicants over the age of 33.


In true easyJet style, to push the boundaries of the air travel industry, the low cost airline is targeting more mature, male and female applicants to try out for the role of cabin crew. easyJet have seen an increase in applications from crew, who have joined us after been forced out of BA, with many more years of good service still to offer.  The role of cabin crew is often perceived as a glamorous and prestigious job, and certainly a sense of adventure is needed. But often the responsibilities, professionalism, dedication and energy that is required is not appreciated. It is not only the young and beautiful that have these abilities. easyJet want to dispel the image of the trolley dolly, cabin crew are not just onboard to serve passengers drinks! Theirs is an essential role to ensure the safety and security of passengers, whilst making the flight an enjoyable experience. easyJet want real people, that passengers can relate to and respect, and can take the company forward.

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easyJet are looking for 300 cabin crew this year, and over 1000 next year, with or without previous airline experience. easyJet is an innovative company, so we look for an open attitude, and professional manner in our personnel. We recognise that the more mature person has so much to offer as they have more life experiences, have acquired communication, and team working skills, usually command more respect, and providing they are young at heart, we don`t care how old they are.


Ray Webster
easyJet Chief Executive said: “It is astonishing that in this day and age, highly qualified and talented individuals are penalised just because of their age. The older generation have great potential, in my experience the best person to soothe a nervous flyer, is someone with experience that only life and maturity can bring. Air travel is a much more relaxed affair these days, with a focus on safety, comfort and customer service and with easyJet there can still be a new career even later on in life”. 


Help the Aged are supporting easyJet`s anti ageism campaign, Tessa Harding, Head of Policy comments:  “Congratulations to easyJet for ignoring the stereotypes. Cabin crew need people skills, professionalism and authority - all things which can only be enhanced by life experience. We wish them well in this initiative and look forward to hearing how it goes - and how the travelling public enjoys this new experience”.


Related stories on ITN:

(30/06/2003) easyJet and Europcar Announce New Partnership

(26/06/2003) Easyjet Tops Internet Hits

(12/06/2003) easyJet Launches European Campaign to Seek Low-Cost Airports

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