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Transferable Skills

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Transferable Skills

Old 22nd Sep 2020, 04:56
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 945
Younger pilots who worked in another field before aviation might be recent enough in it to get back into it, particularly if there is a shortage in that area. Cabin crew with nursing experience would be well placed as the shortage of nurses can be such that the health authorities actively seek out and retrain those who have been out of the profession for several years.

Once your past 50 though, your past it. Earlier this year I was considering my options should I be laid off, and they weren’t that numerous. Driving jobs inevitably cropped up or possibly some government job with the usual public service benefits and job security.

Too old and out of condition for anything really physical and not really up to learning an entirely new skill set, best left to plod along for another decade until retirement.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 05:59
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Hong Kong, SAR.
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
For me the dealbraker was when I heard they don't get a housing allowance and no hosties on the van. That's just not how you treat a human being.
you can always bring your own ‘hostie’!
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 05:59
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: The Twain
Posts: 136
Don't diss train driving, although there will be few vacancies at present.

One of the pilot contributors on another thread did the switch and found it very appealing. Excellent training, interesting technical stuff, responsibility, good days off and vacation time, strong union so good pay. It is no longer the blue collar job it used to be and holds respect in the community.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 07:46
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: hong kong
Posts: 102
Go back to school and get a trade , plumber , welder , electrician , repair man , there are lots of jobs for people with good skills , pat is reasonable as well
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 08:20
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: one country, one system
Age: 52
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Within a few posts from "cognitive skills of a surgeon" to repairing toilets :-)

Reality-check I guess..
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 08:51
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Cannot : "Pat" was very reasonable to me too when I switched to plumbing.
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Old 22nd Sep 2020, 20:41
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NZ
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Further to my earlier post above. What is happening now in the Aviation world, as a result of Covid19 and whilst I am sure things will bounce back at some stage, when exactly will this occur? How high a bounce, I don’t really know and some airlines will bounce higher than others and unfortunately some airlines will disappear altogether into the corner pocket, never to be seen, or heard of again. It obviously comes down to who has the deepest pockets financially and the most support from their Governments, as many are national assets, who play an important part in that countries economics.

For many Pilots out there, this may be an opportune time to seriously re-evaluate their chosen career path. I know that many flying jobs will return in some form or other, however, the way the world is, I very much doubt that this is going to be the last pandemic that comes along. How many career hits can you take in a lifetime, just so you can say you that you fly shiny big jets? I know the ‘flying bug’ does grab you and whilst I did have for the most part, a satisfactory and enjoyable flying career and flew with many great people, I have to say that I did not find the last 15-20 years or so, as enjoyable as they could have been. There were many and varied issues for this, some personal, some other things going on outside aviation, that were causing me dramas and also, a lot of fun had gone out of it, mainly because of the deteriorating relations between the aircrew body and company management. I am sure you all know the history behind all this, so I won’t dwell on it and open up old wounds.

There were many occasions where I would wake up in some distant hotel, at some ungodly hour and ask myself, why on earth am I doing this? Whilst I loved actually flying and operating the big jets and the 747 was my favourite, I found the noise levels in the 747-8F to be very unpleasant, especially when the Packs were on High Flow the whole trip, due the cargo being carried and I now suffer from a degree of Tinnitus, which I presume is as a result of this sustained noise over the years I flew them. How adverse on your health, over the long term, is all those years of operating through the night, getting very limited sleep over a week away on a USA pattern, the unsocial and sometimes frustrating Indian patterns, eating at all different times of the day and night and many other aspects that contribute to a lifetime of disruption to your well-being. It was only when I Retired really, that I realised how permanently fatigued I had been for many years and you learnt to live and cope with it, but it cannot be good for your health and general well-being. The Companies reluctance to bring in a modern and computer based Rostering System, just so they can have more control, is mind boggling in the extreme and is a huge indication of the ~cannot’ mindset, that has been to the detriment of the airline over the last twenty years.

Since I have been Retired, I have often thought that I should or could have done a different career, where I could have spent more regular time at home, lived a more healthier lifestyle and been more in control of my life, than living by a roster that comes out every month and is adjusted many times during it. I know that in many Professions, even Tradie jobs, people can work long hours, but generally they are home at nights most of the time and can go on Holiday when it suits them, not depending on how many Holiday Points they have. The Companies Staff Travel system has been a failure for many years and I hardly ever used it, as it was just too stressful, especially when trying to travel with a young family in the earlier days.

It may be a bit late for the older Pilots to change now, but if I was a young Aviator now, I would definitely be giving serious thought to what career would be best for me and my family over the long term. Even Pilots with only a few years to go, there are other careers or jobs out there, which would be satisfactory and enjoyable, other than being stuck in a noisy cockpit, somewhere over the world, at some ungodly hour and repeating the same process, month after month, year after year. I know that there is a bit of job status and ego that comes into it, but that is not as important as you think it is at times.

Anyway, I will leave you with that and hopefully it will make some folks sit back and really think on what they are doing and where they want to be, in the years ahead.

Best Regards.

PH
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Old 24th Sep 2020, 02:24
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: uk
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Originally Posted by anxiao View Post
Don't diss train driving, although there will be few vacancies at present.

One of the pilot contributors on another thread did the switch and found it very appealing. Excellent training, interesting technical stuff, responsibility, good days off and vacation time, strong union so good pay. It is no longer the blue collar job it used to be and holds respect in the community.

In London, a 'Tube" driver can earn £60K pa with great benefits, pension and strong union backing. A TFL Bus driver earns +45K.
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Old 24th Sep 2020, 08:40
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 538
Fave TV prog from way back "Give me the child, I'll show you the man " featured a super kid from Liverpool who said ;" When I grow up, I want to be an Astronaut. If I can't be an Astronaut, I'll be a coach driver!". Knew many coach drivers & fancied it strongly myself but I guess, really, with all Corvid restrictions, even coach driving will be closed off. Oh the kid didn't make coach driving either. Turned into a basket case & lives in a Caravan on the beaches of some Scottish Lock. We all might be heading there too. Good luck to all fellas.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 00:00
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Chicago
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Some guys on here are painting lovely pictures about transferable skills- I'm sorry but I don't buy it- unlike alot of young pilots who had Mummy and Daddy pay for everything- I myself fortunately got a trade- and then paid those outrageous training fees.. it ain't glamourous- it pays pretty well when you get onto the right contracts- and it's a job..

I was not looking forward to having to go back to my old boss and ask for my old job back after 5-6 years of flying... It is what it is and I'm saving plenty of cash now that I'm doing it..

BUTTT- to say that the skills we have are transferrable is not a notion that I buy, many companies know that as soon as something else comes up flying wise you'll be gone... Also looking at a gps or making swanky radio calls don't really stack up to working in an office or flipping burgers... Knowing a fuel load or weight and balance or asking an FO what sandwich he/she got on said flight don't really translate to much else...

​​​​​​I feel for the younger SO's here that have taken a short cut to get into the big jet game and thanks to that silly little P2X rating they are served with- their hours count for naught also- so getting into GA for many will be impracticable- unless they are willing to get a real entry level job as a 172 whale spotter or something..

Anyway- don't be afraid of labouring, waiting, delivery driving or finding yourself a sugar mumma of daddy...
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 03:25
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: uk
Posts: 0
Like the locomotive driver of 100 years ago, the pilot profession is about to be downgraded for good by the end of the year. No longer a skilled white collar job it will be reduced to blue-collar status. But on the upside blue-collar workers have strong unions and good salaries. Their jobs may not be sexy but they are protected.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 04:26
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: hong kong
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by unitedabx View Post
Like the locomotive driver of 100 years ago, the pilot profession is about to be downgraded for good by the end of the year. No longer a skilled white collar job it will be reduced to blue-collar status. But on the upside blue-collar workers have strong unions and good salaries. Their jobs may not be sexy but they are protected.
The pandemic has simply brought forward what would have happened over the next 5-10 years anyway. Plenty of bright eyed rookies graduating from flight schools happy to fly for peanuts just so they can start a "Look at me, i'm a pilot" page on instagram and gauge their worth based on the number of "likes" they get.
As for strong union recognition...the labour laws aren't as protective as they are in western countries and unfortunately unions don't carry the same weight as they do in countries like the UK and the States. Unless there is a fundamental change in the legislation, the unions hands are tied and that's the reality. The AOA can certainly do more to approach the company (as the DPA has done), to offer solutions instead of "keeping their cards close".
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 05:03
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: HKSAR
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Skippy69 View Post
Some guys on here are painting lovely pictures about transferable skills- I'm sorry but I don't buy it- unlike alot of young pilots who had Mummy and Daddy pay for everything- I myself fortunately got a trade- and then paid those outrageous training fees.. it ain't glamourous- it pays pretty well when you get onto the right contracts- and it's a job..

I was not looking forward to having to go back to my old boss and ask for my old job back after 5-6 years of flying... It is what it is and I'm saving plenty of cash now that I'm doing it..

BUTTT- to say that the skills we have are transferrable is not a notion that I buy, many companies know that as soon as something else comes up flying wise you'll be gone... Also looking at a gps or making swanky radio calls don't really stack up to working in an office or flipping burgers... Knowing a fuel load or weight and balance or asking an FO what sandwich he/she got on said flight don't really translate to much else...

​​​​​​I feel for the younger SO's here that have taken a short cut to get into the big jet game and thanks to that silly little P2X rating they are served with- their hours count for naught also- so getting into GA for many will be impracticable- unless they are willing to get a real entry level job as a 172 whale spotter or something..

Anyway- don't be afraid of labouring, waiting, delivery driving or finding yourself a sugar mumma of daddy...
It really are patronising views like yours which makes guys/girls like you a nightmare to fly with for the younger generation. Times are different now where if you don’t have a degree you don’t have a basic option for a good starting point in the real world. Penalising this generation for choices which are no longer widely available to them (military, bush flying, GA) makes you a poor leader. Leaders encourage and find strengths in their peers and help to hone their weaknesses, not call them snowflakes or slam them down every chance one gets. Also, are you also saying if your kids wants to go to university to get a law degree you will send them packing at 18 and tell them to make their own way? Also, you do not know the life stories of each of the SOs, painting a generalised picture of them is just unfair.

It is a fact for those who wishes to join CX now as a SO you no longer need 3000 hours, although we were still getting people with diverse background and skills. Some come from SA, EUR, South America etc and have plenty of experience, some may well have had a previous life as a dentist. We as leaders in this company is not to discriminate what their background is but to help each and every one become a better pilot. Those who really can’t fly won’t make it through JFO and is rightly so.

We don’t know what the world will look like in 18 months, be it the same as it is now or back to some form of normality. I feel the younger generation have a better chance of finding employment with a similar salary, as their previous careers are still fairly current. However for us who have been in the company for much longer, it will be unrealistic to think we can find a job which pays the same. Some probably can, but certainly not most.

I am an advocate for “keeping the team together”, to quote our DFO two months ago. To train a pilot with an expired type rating to get to operating as a line DEFO / SO takes four months give or take. If we need people back quickly in the event that vaccines and quick testing makes the world go round again, we don’t want to be the one who cannot compete. However, if temporary cuts to salary is not going to cut it, then LIFO should be adhered to as per our contracts. Ok rant over.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 06:00
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: one country, one system
Age: 52
Posts: 62
Most of us started flight school with indifference towards later pay. The demise of terms and conditions in our industry have more complicated origins. Simply blaming the next generation is unhelpful and frankly a bit of a tired argument.

Just to name two big differences, most of the younger generation will have double income with less children, and they do not hold a useful passport. If you come from a low income country you don't have the luxury we might have had. Consider yourself in their situation and don't just use your own perspective.

It is simply unfair to blame them for the market they are facing, they did not choose the environment. One could argue they inherited the market from us. They are forced to deal with a market price that is regulated by demand and supply, and these parameters have changed dramatically over the last decades. We have much higher numbers of flight school graduates, airlines with different cost models compared to basically non-profit organisations like most nationalised carriers, passenger numbers have exploded, operating costs have been reduced, emerging markets have opened up, simulator training has been improved, automation has been increased.

And all along, safety numbers have dramatically improved.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 30th Sep 2020 at 06:18.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 09:19
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Vermont
Posts: 61
“Simply blaming the next generation is unhelpful and frankly a bit of a tired argument.”

Is only THAT side of the argument tired?
I reckon almost all of these arguments on PPRuNe are, including you and I.
How long have we been going around in circles?

BTW, Whitenone: Bush flying and military flying have NEVER been widely available. You have always had to fight for it.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 09:31
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 945
Unions only have power in limited circumstances in an increasingly globalised world.

Auto workers in the USA have to bear in mind that if they want the new factory then their pay has to be competitive or the company will build it in Mexico. Maritime unions have priced American crews out of the cruise ship industry and the cruise lines have registered under flags of convenience in order to employ third world crews.

Australian miners still have it good as the resources are underground in Australia and cheap foreign labour can’t be imported. The mining companies have no option but to pay up, a miner on the right machine can pull in more than an airline F/O.

I’m currently on 45% of what I was making last year, have lost my fixed pattern roster for at least the next 2.5 years and now get no additional pay for working on a day off. I consider myself luck to still have a job as 25% of our pilots have been laid off. Hopefully this is the bottom and things start picking up as borders reopen. This could be a rough indication of what to expect for other airline pilots.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 11:33
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: 852
Posts: 27
I wonder if those BA cadets are labelled as 'cadets' or looked down upon during their whole careers.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 21:59
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NZ
Posts: 15
I accept that for many younger generation Pilots, it comes as a real disappointment, to have to be considering maybe other career options, when you have only just got started on your preferred and chosen one and most likely have spent a lot of money in getting qualified with your early Licences. However, the way the world is at the moment and most likely to be for a few more years, as economic belts tighten around the world and Recessions set in, it is something that has to be taken seriously and unless you have income support from somewhere, you won’t be able to just sit around and go surfing, or whatever your fancy is.

Obviously there are some careers that would entail some serious study commitment for quite a few years, in order to get a qualification, such as in the Medical field, Lawyers, Architects, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Vets for example and then in the Financial sectors, Banking and Accounting and the list is extensive. There are also many other career options, that don’t need such a commitment and many have been mentioned above in earlier posts, many in the transport side of things and the Tradies side of the building industry. I believe that there has been a significant interest from Air NZ crews here, not only in the cockpit, but cabin services as well, for joining the Police force, which would definitely be an interesting and varied career. I think becoming a Detective would be an interesting, challenging and satisfying career and there are many areas in Law and Policing that need good people. Commercial and IT Fraud for examples.

A lot of people have decided to open their own business and whilst this can be rewarding, I know from my own experiences, it is also fraught with difficulty and issues and the risk of failure is very high indeed, with a lot of stress, time, effort and funds at stake. Trying to run your own business, is not an undertaking to be taken lightly, please trust me on this and I am still feeling the pain. I know one `High Flyer’ here in Auckland, who had a medical condition a few year ago and decided to give it away and he bought a lawn mowing franchise and he said he wished he had done it years ago. He is as happy as anything and his health is in good shape again.

We all get too focused on status, ego and getting paid high salaries and I am willing to admit that I was right up there in that category and I and many others, enjoyed the lifestyle we had in `the good old days’ of the earlier Cathay years. As many of us have learned the hard way over the years, money does not always buy happiness and if you are not happy in what you are doing anymore, whether it is because the Company has changed, or you have changed, you have to ask yourself, `why am I still doing this’? I know it is a difficult treadmill to get off, as we all enjoy our nice houses and lifestyle, good schooling for the kids, fancy Clubs and expensive toys, nice holidays etc etc, but what do you have to sacrifice, with regard to personal happiness and wellbeing, in order to have that lifestyle?

How important is the money that comes with higher salaries, if it means that your own life is not a happy one and as is so often the case, often leads to a Divorce and saying good bye to a very large chunk of the money you thought was so important, along with all the dramas and stress that separating usually causes in families. I know I am being negative, but I am telling the truth and what is a very high statistic and I am speaking from personal experience, having ticked that box.

With regard to Hong Kong and the Airlines there and for the foreseeable future, how optimistic and positive are you, that things are going to get better for you as a Pilot and also living there? With tensions escalating between China and the USA and also the various other countries around South East Asia, particularly between China and Taiwan, how do you think things will be, if it all gets ugly there? If the Taiwan situation escalates into a serious situation, what do you really see is the future of Hong Kong’s various Airlines and do you really want to be living on a lowish salary, in a tiny and badly designed apartment, with all the restrictive Laws and conditions, that will and are being imposed on by the Communists over the border? Is this going to be the best place to bring up your family, just so you can continue to be a Pilot, or whilst you try for another position elsewhere? How many countries will be keen to accept Cathay, for example, flying to them, if and when China goes at it? Flying domestically in China was a lesson in frustration and not something I would want to be doing over a career.

Whilst I am not too sure what is going on in Cathay and Dragonair, or CX Dragon at the moment, along with the various Unions, it seems to be another lesson in the definition of insanity, if they keep making the same mistakes and expecting things to get better. Why on earth would Cathay Management bring back the two gentlemen, SK and CH, to be involved with whatever is going on now, when these two gents were part of the problem in the first place. We need a different team, mindset and approach, otherwise it is just repeating what has gone on before and which didn’t work. I will state for the record though, that there were faults on both sides, at different times and it is not going to be easy and simple to fix and you certainly won’t be pleasing everybody in every area, that’s for sure.

If you did embark on a new career and in a few year’s time, there was an actual shortage of Pilots world-wide, or if you really, really wanted to get back into it, then you could. You don’t forget your skills, or need complete retraining. You may be a bit rusty for sure and some cobwebs need dusting off, but it would not take long to get back into it again and if flying into China and all night over India and the Pacific rings your bell, then go for it. As I have said earlier, there were many, many times that I asked myself, `why am I doing this’ and I wished I had listened!

Best Regards.

PH
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 23:25
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 945
Anyone looking at starting out on a flying career at the moment needs to realise that they can't expect to get a job for the next 3-4 years. There are thousands of qualified and experienced pilots on the street already, and those laid off will be the first taken back on once demand picks up. Whilst some will have retired, lost their licence, moved into a different career or in a few cases not be wanted back, the market will be heavily oversupplied in the short to medium term.

The flying training sector will be devastated at the light aircraft level as it could easily be two years before it's worth starting a year long CPL course. Simulator centres will probably survive but with reduced business, flying clubs doing PPL training and private hire likewise. Flight schools churning out 20 - 30 new CPL holders every few months will probably go under.
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Old 12th Oct 2020, 08:19
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 52
Graham Ogilvy has a degree in zoology. Is that a suitable degree for airline management ? Might be if pilots are to be considered as non human animals. More than that, I am firmly convinced that an ATPL is superior to a university degree.
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