To have the opportunity to enter the cockpit of an Airbus A330, inspect the inner workings of a jet engine or to join the trainees in guiding a robot they had programmed themselves across a miniature apron – these were just a few of the highlights that children were able to experience with SWISS on the National Day of the Future. On 8 November 2018, 140 children whose parents work at SWISS had the chance to find out more about all the different jobs and departments at SWISS.
Excited about exploring the world of opportunities with SWISS
A huge crowd of children, full of excitement, gathered at the OPC to find out more about the fascinating world of flying. “The ‘Day of the Future’ is one of many opportunities we have for making the next generation aware of the many different workplaces we have to offer,” reports Christoph Ulrich, Head of Human Resources. “In Switzerland, the extremely successful dual education system means that people choose their professions at a very early age – and the ‘Day of the Future’ plays an important role in this. Being able to experience SWISS live for a day is also very special for the children of our colleagues.” The children spent the first half of the day looking around an Airbus A330 in Hangar 3 and learning more about the opportunities on the technical side of things. For the second half of the day, the children – who were aged between 11 and 14 – went to work with mum or dad. So the day for the excited children began with a short ride on a bus and interesting guided tours of Hangar 3, where the official security check was the first thing to kindle the occasional travel memories for some of the youngsters.
Impressive giant birds in Hangar 3
Even the entrance to Hangar 3 was impressive. And one of the sights in this unbelievably vast hangar was the Airbus A330-300, right before the eyes of the amazed children. The aircraft had only returned from Montreal two hours before, and was then taken out of circulation specifically for the National Day of the Future. But not for long – later that same evening, it took off for Tel Aviv. Committed aircraft mechanics told the interested girls and boys all about the aircraft as they were right up close to it, and shared all sorts of exciting details with them such as the controls for the undercarriage, brakes and engines. Our little guests were also fascinated by the unbelievable dimensions of the aircraft and by details such as a hydraulic pump. They were also given access to areas that are normally out of bounds such as the avionics compartment and the cargo hold.
Taking part in the apprentices’ workshop
Our visitors were also taken in small groups to visit various positions in the apprentices’ workshop. Wherever they went, they were given an interactive task to take part, try out or learn. On an automatic turning machine, they watched a metal blank being turned into a yo-yo, which they were then given to take home with them as a memento. The trainee automation engineers and polytechnicians offered the young visitors an exciting insight into working in these two apprenticeships. Both include an interim exam after two years as an apprentice, after which the trainees are then able to spend the third and fourth years of their training time in the workshop, gathering experience at the heart of the action, as it were.
Elevenses Lunch in the hangar
After all these exciting impressions, our guests were able to fortify themselves over elevenses sitting up close to the A330-300 back at Hangar 3. This was the perfect opportunity for various exchanges. One of the comments heard was, “I want to be a flight attendant like my mum”.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking”
Finally, the guests were able to inspect the aircraft on the inside. At various points throughout, they learnt more about the cockpit and Cabin Crew professions. Various Cabin Crew Members, Maîtres de Cabin and pilots were on board to tell the participants more about their daily working life above the clouds. They found out what the jump seat is for, how meals are prepared in the galley, and then they were able to make their own announcements using the microphone. The children passed through all the service classes right up to SWISS First, where they thoroughly checked out the comfortable seats with all their many extras. And finally, every child was able to sit in the cockpit and admire the numerous buttons and levers. The SWISS pilots answered lots of questions and shared some of their experiences from their working lives.
Range of professions
With all these impressions in their baggage, the children’s journey then took them back to the OPC, where they each had a parent waiting for them to take them for the second individual half-day “at work” with mum or dad. This experience was made possible by the excellent level of co-operation between many highly dedicated SWISS staff members from HR, the technical division, tour guides, pilots and Cabin Crew Members for the benefit of the next generation.