With 53% of travel businesses reporting it hard to recruit staff with the required technical or practical skills, People 1st is hailing the new travel consultant apprenticeship standard – created by trailblazer employers and led by BCD Travel, to be more robust, clearly defined and fit for purpose – as being truly transformative for those businesses that choose to use them.
Simon Tarr, chief executive of People 1st, says the new standard offers a range of benefits and People 1st is providing support to help businesses understand how they can meet their specific needs.
He says: “Research indicates that 80% of companies that invest in apprentices report an increase in staff retention, but that’s just the beginning – there is also compelling evidence that progressing your brightest and best talent can significantly boost the bottom line; 68% of apprenticeship employers believe apprentices improve productivity in their business whilst 77% of employers believe apprenticeships make them more competitive.”
TUI has seen the benefits of apprenticeships and the contributions they can make to the bottom line. The company’s Development Manager Vocational Learning, Andy Smyth, said: “The travel industry has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye. TUI apprenticeships offer people who may not have considered working in the travel industry before, a chance to experience a varied and interesting career. Support behind new apprenticeships will mean the sector will continue to grow, boost loyal workforces and encourage new talent to improve their skills.”
People 1st is working in partnership with employers in showing how businesses large and small can access apprenticeships to drive themselves forward. The charity can help them choose the right apprenticeship for their size and type and also provide concise and relevant information for those that choose to offer the new standards. In addition People 1st can also recommend accredited training providers and share best practice from across the industry while helping employers to understand the government’s plans for apprenticeships and how they might impact a business.
Simon adds: “The government is in the midst of a consultation over the proposed apprenticeship levy, set to cost our sector over £100m, which will affect all UK employers, whether they use apprenticeships or not. Our role is to help the hospitality, travel, retail and passenger transport industries, sectors that have long been built on offering fantastic career pathways, through apprenticeships – to understand, navigate and, benefit long term from such legislation.”
Over the next six months, People 1st will be regularly updating an apprenticeship portal http://www.people1st.co.uk/travel-apprenticeships with all the relevant tools and information needed to start accessing the new apprenticeships. The charity is encouraging businesses to visit today and register to receive the latest updates and practical advice ahead of new standards launch in the spring.