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Industry Insight – March 2016

Industry Insight – March 2016

Cherie Richards, commercial director at The Global Travel Group, looks at the opportunities arising from National Apprenticeship Week…

National Apprenticeship Week will be taking place from March 14–18, celebrating apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider UK economy. They give young people the opportunity to learn a valuable and often practical skill that will equip them with the experience required to excel in a specific industry. This got me thinking about the important part that young people play in travel.

I myself started in the industry as a student, choosing to take a National Diploma in Travel and Tourism whilst at college. I didn’t get to do an apprenticeship, but the practical hands on experience as a junior travel consultant for an independent travel agent was just as important in terms of learning how to liaise with customers and build relationships with tour operators.

Nurturing young talent is key for the industry. You just need to look at our own members for proof of this. Emma Casburn, managing director at Infinite Travel, spent time travelling the world before setting up her own agency in May 2014. In 2015, Sam Cassem and John Stephenson harnessed their industry experience and went out on their own by setting up Your Travel and turning over £1.2million in their first year of trading alone.

“Welcoming young people with a passion for travel through apprenticeships and graduate schemes is vital for the sector to thrive and evolve”

Their successes are proof that young people are to be championed in travel. Whilst my early days stand me in good stead for understanding the ins and outs of travel, it is important that we continue to welcome those that also bring with them different approaches and new ways of working and, as we’ve seen in recent years, more and more travel businesses are looking to the next generation to lead the way with new ideas. Welcoming young people with a passion for travel through apprenticeships and graduate schemes is vital for the sector to thrive and evolve, but we should also be looking outside the travel sphere.

There is some great talent out there working in other sectors who may not have considered travel before. It’s important that we shout about what the industry offers career wise, to ensure that we are attracting young people from different backgrounds. Here at The Global Travel Group we have hosted students from local colleges, giving them an insight in to the world of travel and how our business works, and we’re big believers in nurturing young talent with the average age of our workforce at 36. I have also spoken at my local college on issues affecting the industry and each time I visit it’s fantastic to see so many young people keen to be a part of our industry and their enthusiasm for what they are studying.

Every year it’s great to see the new rising stars taking the industry by storm and I’m certain that 2016 will be no exception. Here’s to the young’uns keeping us all on our toes!

Original Source: Travel Bulletin

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