From education to employment

Flin’s flying high with return to Middlesbrough College

High flier – former Middlesbrough College student Flin Richardson has now embarked on a career in aviation with travel giant TUI.

A FORMER Middlesbrough College student is jetting in to give his advice to current travel, tourism and aviation students as he pursues his career in the industry.

Flin Richardson, from Middlesbrough, will be helping to teach students on the College’s range of travel and aviation courses while he continues his own degree studies at the College.

The 20-year-old has spent the past two summers working as a member of cabin crew for tour operator TUI, flying to destinations across Europe and America, after successfully completing a two-year BTEC Level 3 course in Aviation Operations at Middlesbrough College.

Flin will be giving the benefit of his experience and knowledge to some of the 170+ current students on the College’s range of travel, tourism and aviation courses from September in between completing studies for his BA degree in Airport and Airline Management.

Flin said: “I have always had a passion for the airline and travel industry ever since I was a child going on holidays with my family.

“I knew it was something I wanted to go into and I knew Middlesbrough College had a really good reputation for its travel, tourism and aviation courses and that studying there would take me on the right path.

“I knew I wanted to be a cabin crew member and that the Aviation Operations course would teach me the right skills, as well as go into other areas if I wanted to.”

Flin’s course covered everything from airport terminal management to customer service, health and safety and industry practice and he found it very useful when it came to looking for work in the industry.

Flin explained: “At my interview for TUI, there were a lot of things which I could apply from my studies and when I was doing my training for the cabin crew role, a lot of the things we were learning I had done before so it gave me a fantastic head start.”

Starting as a member of cabin crew in April 2022, Flin’s first summer was spent working on short haul flights to destinations including Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Egypt.

In his second summer this year, Flin has also worked on long haul flights to destinations including Mexico, where he was able to enjoy a few nights’ stopover.

“It’s quite something after a long day at work that started in the UK to be able to sit down and enjoy the sunshine in Mexico!” he said.

Over the winter periods and immediately prior to starting at TUI, Flin studied at Middlesbrough College for a BA degree in Airport and Airline Management, which he will continue to do from September whilst also lecturing current College students.

Flin said: “I’m looking forward to helping pass on my experience, knowledge and skills to students to help them with their own careers in the industry.

“It’s vital to do this because they will be the future of the travel, tourism and aviation industry so I hope they will see from my experience that it is possible to get a great career in the sector.

“My advice to students thinking of enrolling on these courses is ‘go for it!’. The aviation industry is always on the rise, the demand for people to join is high and there are so many ways you can take your career.”

Once he finishes his studies next year, Flin is looking forward to flying the skies as cabin crew again.

“I love my job and I’m just going to see how things go, but in the future, I might want to use my degree to go into something like airport management,” he said.

Middlesbrough College currently operates five different travel, tourism and aviation courses to school leavers as well as three different Foundation and degree-level courses in the sector.

As well as Flin’s success, previous students have gone on to work for airlines including Emirates and in jobs specialising in aspects including sustainable tourism.

Janine Tyzack, head of department in Middlesbrough College’s travel, tourism and aviation school, said:

“It’s great for current students to benefit from someone like Flin’s experience and enthusiasm for the sector and to see how they can make their own careers.

“When it comes to the travel, tourism and aviation sector, the sky’s the limit for the opportunities available!”

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