Laid-off SAS airline staff offered fast-track healthcare training

Sweden offers laid-off airline workers fast track healthcare training to help the battle against coronavirus

  • Over a thousand laid-off SAS airline workers in Sweden offered medical training
  • They will be offered fast-track heathcare training to help battle the coronavirus
  • SAS laid off 10,000 staff – around 90% – as passengers numbers dropped off
  • Course will be free and the companies involved with training not seeking a profit 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

More than a thousand laid-off SAS airline workers in Sweden are being offered fast-track medical training to help Sweden’s beleaguered healthcare system to fight the coronavirus.

SAS has laid off 10,000 staff, or 90 per cent of its workforce, temporarily as demand for flights has ‘more or less disappeared’ after many European countries shut their borders or advised against travel.

Sophiahemmet University will run a three-day pilot for 30 people at the end of March with the hope of extending the course to hundreds more shortly.

SAS temporarily laid off 90 per cent of its workforce amid the travel bans due to the coronavirus. A SAS aircraft (pictured) approaching for landing at Heathrow Airport in 2017

‘There are incredibly competent people who will be able to offer relief to our healthcare immediately after completing the training so that doctors and nurses can to an even greater extent devote themselves to caring for patients,’ Johanna Adami, principal at the University said.

The course will be free of charge and the companies involved with the training are not seeking to make a profit. Funding is provided by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg foundation.

The students will be trained in providing information to patients and their families, sterilizing beds and equipment and basic administrative duties.

Fredrik Hillelson, CEO at Novare Human Capital, is acting as coordinator and recruiter for the program. He said around 250 out of 1,100 contacted SAS workers have so far said they want to do the training.

‘It is a small bright light in all the darkness to be able to do something positive, not just talking,’ he said. ‘If we can be a positive initative that gets other people to think outside the box, I’m very happy.’

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