The travel industry is suffering from a dearth of experienced employees in their mid-20s, an survey by AA Appointments has revealed.

AA Appointments managing director John Tolmie put the problem down to lack of investment in staff five years ago.

“There was a lack of investment in 19 and 20-year-olds after the September 11 attacks,” he said.

“It is very noticeable in business travel where there is a dearth of available talent in London and major cities.”

But Tolmie conceded companies were finally starting to realise the importance of investment in younger staff.

“We are still trying to convince companies of the benefits of training. The ones that invest in people are the ones that last the pace.”

Meanwhile, Tolmie said there appears to be a reversal in the outsourcing trend with companies returning skills such as ticketing in-house.

The survey also predicted that salaries in the travel industry would rise in 2007.