Career development and training

We are passionate about promoting a culture of continuous learning, and we support staff that want to further develop their career. We have invested heavily in extensive formal training, online learning, seminars and forums. Managers conduct performance reviews for all staff as part of our performance development and management process. We also support ongoing vocational education and career breaks for staff members who wish to pursue external activities to further enhance their careers.

We offer specific programmes to build staff competencies and careers in the following areas:

Career Choices Brief Description
Management Trainee

(Part of John Swire & Sons Hong Kong, the majority shareholder of Swire Pacific Limited, also the majority shareholder of Cathay Pacific Limited)

  • Summer internships through the John Swire & Sons Hong Kong programme
  • Aims to nurture our next generation of business leaders
  • Three-year development programme, with classroom training, workshops, and attachments to different units of our business within and outside of Hong Kong
Engineering Trainee Programme
  • A 30-month development programme, with classroom-based aircraft training alongside practical experience in postings to different engineering sections
  • Eight-week long engineering internships with two intakes during summer and winter
Cadet Pilot
  • A 60-week development programme for becoming a commercial pilot
  • Residential course at a specialised facility in Australia
Cabin Crew
  • A three-year contract to train as a safety officer, caring team player and ambassador for Hong Kong
Customer Services Officer
  • A nine to 12-month development programme on customer service skills within airside duty, and technical check-in procedures training on landside
IT Trainee Programme
  • A two-year training programme
  • 10 trainees rotating through a range of programming and non-programming IT-based disciplines and business units
  • Opportunity to work their way up the career ladder depending on their performance and opportunities available
  • One-on-one mentoring and support to develop technical skills such as cloud computing, mobile apps, RFID tag technology and web-based activities
Operational Leadership Programme
  • An eight-year programme
  • On-the-job experience provided within different operating divisions and departments in the Cathay Pacific Group
  • Opportunities to broaden and deepen technical, professional and soft skills
  • Opportunities to be supported and coached to develop management and leadership skills

People development

The ‘People Development’ team was set up to provide a greater focus on people development across the network. The team supports the company’s leadership pipeline in the identification and development of staff who demonstrate high potential and performance, as well as identifying suitable career development opportunities. A formal leadership and management development curriculum has been delivered to relevant staff at all levels in both Hong Kong and outports.

Learner’s World – online training platform

Learner’s World is our online training platform that allows staff to independently access training without the constraints of time and place. It offers both personal development opportunities and work-related training. It is also a key platform for our compliance-based training. An online learning course on cultural awareness has been available since 2006, covering issues such as taboos, social norms, languages, values amongst different religions, reflections on cultural sensitivity. The aim of this is to demonstrate the importance of respect and sensitivity to other cultures and to avoid any behaviour that some passengers might find offensive. Additionally, there are language courses which focus on the specific requirements that support various job functions. There are also a number of generic courses on effective communication available for all staff.

Equipping our airport teams

Our Airports Learning and Development (ALD) team is responsible for driving and enabling the development of skills and competencies required of airport teams worldwide. ALD works closely with local airport training coordinators, supervisors and managers to ensure training and development approaches, programmes (both technical and behavioural) and capabilities are optimised.

Cabin crew service and development

To enable the cabin crew team to provide the highest quality of service to our customers, a series of training procedures are put in place for our cabin crew. The overall approach we take is the development of individuals on the relevant knowledge, skills and attitude that set the foundation not only for delivering service, but also for continuous learning on the job. This helps them to adapt to the complex and evolving service environment.

Here are some of programmes undertaken by the cabin crews of the Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

Cathay Pacific:

  • Blended learning approach: after new recruits have passed stringent emergency and first aid training, the Cathay Pacific Inflight Service Training and Development team provides a comprehensive training and development programme using a ‘blended learning approach’ that focuses on the service philosophy, business awareness, as well as service and interpersonal skills.

  • A variety of training: includes induction and promotion training, on-the-job coaching and web-based learning and workshops. Annual refresher workshops are theme-based and aim to refresh and bring the crew up to date on relevant skills and knowledge. In 2016, induction training prepared 311 new recruits to join the cabin crew workforce. Another 1,177 crew completed progression and promotion training for various levels of supervisory and leadership positions. Throughout the year, over 11,168 crew attended the annual refresher training classes on disability awareness and occupational health and safety. The focus in 2016 was the reinforcement of the positively received manual handling guidelines introduced in 2015 from training provider, Pristine Condition of UK.

  • Service Leadership Forum: a joint workshop for inflight service managers and other frontline team leaders from the Hong Kong and outport airport teams were held on over 30 occasions in 2016. The one-day workshop explored the business realities, challenges and ways frontline leaders can support the larger corporate on-time performance initiative.

  • A350 preparation: an e-learning module was launched in late 2015 to prepare all crew for the arrival of the new Airbus A350 aircraft in 2016. To support further training requirements, a new approach to the cabin training mock-up is under development, due to be completed in 2017. Instead of the traditional aircraft cabin, the new flexible modular classroom design will enable flexibility in accommodating a wider variety of training needs.

  • Secondment programme: a key aspect that contributes to the creation of a learning culture is the ability for cabin crew to participate in a secondment programme, for instance being seconded part-time as a service trainer. This kind of opportunity brings two types of benefits. Firstly, it allows experienced crew to share their knowledge and experience with the trainees. At the same time, it gives these more-experienced crew exposure and experience in other aspects of the business.

Cathay Dragon:

  • A variety of training: the Cabin Crew Training and Development Centre conducted 213 classes of internal training covering an equivalent of 466 training days in 2016 in order to provide quality training programmes covering the knowledge, skills and qualities that help cabin crew become competent in their job and enable them to meet and exceed our passengers’ expectations

  • Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon and Ground Service Leadership Forum (SLF): co-hosted for the first time in 2016, the one-day forum addressed the issue of operational efficiency, and ground and cabin leaders gathered to share ideas on how to achieve on-time performance. The ‘Crucial Conversion’ between ground and air colleagues provided a platform for different teams to hear each other’s perspectives, thus enhancing understanding and collaboration.

  • The Cabin Crew Mentorship Programme: since its launch in 2012, two workshops are held annually by a group of mentors. In addition to mentoring the mindset and career skills, the workshop also provided techniques in overcoming stress and poor communication between different generations. The majority of the mentee groups reported feeling inspired by their mentor’s dedication, which in turn helped to lead to a happier career in Cathay Dragon and an overall more enjoyable personal life. To recognise the dedication and passion of our group of mentors, a Best Mentor Award, nominated by their mentees, is awarded to two mentors every year.

  • Brandon Hall Excellence Bronze Award: the induction eLearning program “Dragonair Food and Beverages in Economy Class” won the Brandon Hall Excellence Bronze Award 2015. This eLearning program is designed for all new joiners as part of their pre-training study. The course has been designed to arouse the trainees’ learning interest through a number of interactive exercises and practices, and its accessibility via both iPad and tablets helps to enhance the learning flexibility for the trainees.

  • KA Cantonese App: this new learning app was introduced in 2016 to help non-native speakers learn Cantonese. The new app focuses on Cantonese Pinyin pronunciation, and introduces inflight service language with vocabulary audio clips. This app is not only designed for non-Cantonese speakers but also for native speakers who are welcome to use it to improve their pronunciation and to provide assistance to those who are learning Cantonese.