Data skills apprenticeship created for business travel sector to be extended

An apprenticeship scheme created to improve data skills within the business travel sector is to be extended and offered to leisure travel firms for the first time.

Professional services firm Grant Thornton partnered with BPP School of Technology and the Business Travel Association to create data skills academies through funded apprenticeship schemes.

Twenty-six employees from BTA members and partners began their tailored data skills courses in June, studying via webinars and one-to-one coaching during work hours.

The leisure travel data academies will start in late November and Grant Thornton is inviting leisure travel firms to hear more at briefing sessions in July, August and September.

Employees on the business travel courses are studying for a Level 3 Data Citizen qualification over 15 months, equivalent to two A-levels, or a Level 4 Data Analyst qualification, over 21 months, which is equivalent to the first year of a degree.

Sue Ledgard, talent solutions consumer industry lead at Grant Thornton, said: “Many owners of travel businesses identified lack of workforce data skills as one of their top concerns.”

The academies are made up of people in diverse roles, all wanting the ability to analyse data effectively

Helen Gibson, BPP client solutions director, said: “With the BTA, we were able to tailor and contextualise [the courses] for business travel, with case studies, data sets, industry speakers and networking.”

Ledgard added: “We all work with data every day, but we don’t all know how to manage or analyse it.

“But when you know how, and what systems are available…a job that used to take one or two days could now take one or two hours.

“The academies are made up of people in diverse roles and at different levels, all wanting the ability to analyse data effectively and make better-informed decisions.

“They are unique programmes for the whole of the travel industry.

“Leisure travel agents, operators, airlines, coach operators, hotels – the type of data used varies, but all data content and discussions on the programme are geared around travel and holidays.”

Helen Turner, BTA member and partnerships manager, added: “Most organisations do not have people with the required skills needed to train others, so apprenticeships can really support with this. All apprenticeships are important: they have been designed by trailblazer groups of experts in each sector.”

For more details, email Sue Ledgard:

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