17 Oct

Apprenticeships funding for travel companies

With the new professional standards for the travel consultant agreed and the End Point Assessor for the industry confirmed, now is the perfect time for travel businesses large and small to begin or evaluate their apprenticeship strategies.

According to Vicki Wolf, ABTA’s Education Partnerships Manager, the world of apprenticeships has changed as both new and more experienced staff are able to participate in apprenticeships. Many of our Members have embraced the new apprenticeship landscape and have taken on one to many hundreds of apprentices. While sales and travel consultants are an integral part of a travel business, many other skills contribute towards a successful travel business; IT, HR, digital marketing, finance and management are just some of the areas where our Members are investing in apprenticeships.

The new professional standards for the travel consultant apprenticeship took a long time to refine and were a real industry collaboration, with both the leisure and business travel sectors working closely together. The agreed standards are of a very high quality and apprentices are starting to come through the new standards now.

ABTA’s Apprenticeships in the Travel Industry Seminar on 20 November is an opportunity for Members and providers to get together and hear from the experts. The introduction of the apprenticeship levy in 2016 has led many travel companies to rethink their apprenticeships strategy. The Education and Skills Funding Agency will be providing an update on funding and other key issues affecting levy payers and non-levy payers.

The issue of seasonal workers and apprenticeships has long concerned the travel industry and the Department for Education will address this at the seminar. There is also the opportunity to ask questions of the Government representatives.

Apprenticeships can be used to upskill existing staff and key ABTA Members will share their experiences of doing this, whilst providing insight into the practicalities of implementing an apprenticeship programme for the first time.

At the heart of the new apprenticeship landscape is the development of robust, industry-wide recognised standard for apprenticeships at any stage of their careers. The industry was working on the new professional standards some time before the levy was introduced. The aim is that, wherever you do your apprenticeship, in whatever industry, you will qualify and be recognised as a professional. Every apprentice must undertake an end assessment test, as this ensures that no-one can qualify as an apprentice without meeting the industry recongised standard. City & Guilds are end assessors for the travel industry and at the event, they will be explaining how the end assessment will work in practice.

The Travel Apprenticeship Board, chaired by Ben Bouldin from Royal Caribbean, is the industry’s channel for addressing any issues. Ben, and representatives from the Board, including Vicki Wolf from ABTA, will be on hand during the day to hear from you.        

Event details

ABTA’s Apprenticeships in the Travel Industry seminar is a full day seminar, being held on Tuesday 20 November at our offices in London Bridge. You can find more details and register for the event on abta.com.