As part of National Apprenticeship Week the Government today announces that a new employer-led trailblazer apprenticeship scheme will be developed for those keen to develop a career as a travel consultant. 

The new apprenticeship scheme is being developed by some of the country’s leading employers across both the corporate and leisure travel sectors and is expected to be available for new recruits to join later this year. The scheme will enable firms to recruit and train young people entering the travel sector as well as support and develop the skills and knowledge base of existing staff. 

The scheme’s employer group is led by Angela Williams, HR Director of corporate travel specialists BCD Travel. She commented: 

"The business travel sector is expanding post-recession and many firms are experiencing skill shortages. Business travel is a driver for economic growth and it is vital that we attract, develop and retain a new generation of consultants who can support the needs of corporate and public sector clients. The project will also raise young people's awareness of the interesting opportunities in our sector. The work is incredibly diverse – from safeguarding an undercover reporter’s identity when booking their travel arrangements to moving a film crew around the world to their set locations. 

“Specialist apprenticeship training provider, Damar Training, has provided invaluable support to the business travel employers named in the announcement as well our industry body, the Guild of Travel Management Consultants and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Damar through the development and delivery phases of the project. 

“I also welcome the support of sector skills council, People 1st, and employers from the leisure and tourism side of the wider travel sector. I am very excited about the opportunity that this trailblazer gives us to develop a truly employer-owned apprenticeship that meets the needs of both corporate and leisure travel." 

BCD Travel is a member of the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) - the UK's leading professional body for travel management companies. GTMC chief executive Paul Wait added:

“It is vitally important that the business travel industry attracts the younger generation who are finishing the academic phase of their life. In recent years there has been very little done to promote careers and not enough investment in people owing to the economic situation in the UK. However that is now changing and the UK is one of countries in the EU seeming to lead the way in economic recovery. Business Travel in the UK is a mature industry and one of the most dynamic in Europe. The GTMC is at the forefront of promoting careers and investment in people and are delighted to be part of this initiative.”

Speaking at the launch of the trailblazer programme Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said:

"Our aim is that the new apprenticeships will focus squarely on rigorous training for learners and simplicity of use for employers. This will mean that our apprenticeship system will respond to the needs of the modern economy." 

The employer group is led by organisations including BCD Travel, Capita Travel & Events, Hillgate Travel, Giles Travel, The Co-operative Travel Management, CTI, Horncastle Executive Travel Ltd, PGL, Eurocamp, Spa Travel and ABTA.  Corporate Travel sector employers interested in finding out more about the project should contact Angela.Williams@bcdtravel.co.uk.  Leisure Travel sector employers should contact  Annette.Allmark@people1st.co.uk

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