20 Apr

Working to protect and champion education and skills

This week you will have seen widespread coverage in the trade media surrounding the future of travel and tourism courses, so I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what ABTA is doing on this important topic and to share our understanding of what has happened and next steps.
The first thing to say is that there has been some confusion in how the changes that are underway have been communicated, especially as relates to what this might mean for our sector.  Importantly, there is still an opportunity to replace the current travel and tourism qualifications with a new type of qualification once the current courses cease to be funded by Government. While it is very disappointing that City & Guilds have chosen to walk away from offering travel and tourism courses in future, there are other providers, and we know that there is interest elsewhere in continuing to offer students the chance to study for careers in our industry.
The important thing now is for the industry to engage with providers to shape what the future pathways into our sector look like. For that reason, ABTA has formed a working group with other travel bodies, including the BTA, ITT, UKinbound and the Tourism Alliance, which will also include awarding bodies, members and our education partners. The aim is to work together to ensure the industry can continue to attract young people towards a career in travel and tourism, and to ensure also that future qualifications meet the skills needs of businesses. 
The working group will be practical and solutions focused, and we know that an important part of what lies ahead will be about providing evidence that there is a demand for the students that take these courses within the industry. We will need members and the wider industry to help us in that effort, and we’ll keep you updated on how you can help us in the weeks and months ahead. 
One of the reasons we have been able to respond so quickly to this situation is through the strong connections ABTA has across the education sector, thanks to the work we do on education, skills and recruitment. You can read more about that work here.  

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive