Not knowing how to swim has for many years prevented some young people from applying for employment as an Air Namibia cabin crewmember, because swimming well is actually a requirement for the job.
But the national airline says this is now something of the past, as more and more people know how to swim these days, which is one of the reasons the airline recently received approximately 3 000 applications to fill 23 vacancies for the latest intake of cabin crew members.
Of course unemployment, particularly amongst the youth, is also a major contributor to the large number of applications received.
Air Namibia’s latest cabin crew recruits completed their eight weeks of intensive training on Friday, August 12, and started with their observation flights the very next day.
Besides testing their swimming abilities, part of the evaluation process included an intensive screening process, where amongst others applicants’ body mass index (BMI) and height measurements were recorded.
The required BMI for women is between 19 and 24 and between 20 and 26 for men. The required length for both males and females is 1.60 m.
According to Air Namibia spokesperson Paul Nakawa the new intake is part of the airline’s strategy, as per the Harambee Prosperity Plan, to ensure no one is left out.
Nakawa noted that the new intake represents Namibia’s cultural diversity and background.
“Time has evolved and young people are keen to know how to swim. This skill has for many years prevented many Namibians, who aspired to be cabin crew to qualify. “It is an industry requirement and we ensure whoever wants to be a cabin crew knows how to swim,” he said.
“Air Namibia will work closely with the Ministry of Education, especially the National Institute for Educational Development (NIED), to ensure that swimming is part of the vocational subjects taught at all schools in Namibia.
“We will further ensure that topics on the aviation industry are incorporated in the guidance and life-skills textbooks to introduce the learners, who want to pursue their studies in aviation later in life.
“Knowledge is power and it’s only when such information is disseminated to learners that they will make informed decisions on their career plans or choices.
“This is the beginning of a long journey ahead and management wants to ensure that opportunities are available to all who meet the industry requirements,” Nakawa noted.