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Travel and tourism diploma ‘must inspire confidence and passion’

A new travel and tourism diploma course being developed for school-age students must produce a confident and passionate workforce with good social skills, employers have said.

Sector skills councils People 1st and GoSkills have formed the Travel and Tourism Diploma Development Partnership, which is inviting the trade to suggest ideas for the content of the new course which students aged 14 to 19 will take from 2010.

This week senior industry figures met with the partnership at the London Eye to discuss content for the course.

Carnival Cruise Lines sales and marketing director Lynn Narraway said: “At reservations level we seem to have a dearth of people coming into the industry. If they do apply, they don’t seem to have the passion and will take a job with a bank if it offers them £500 more per year.”

Narraway said that CVs with a travel and tourism and business qualification were always likely to be more successful, but stressed this diploma must not be seen as a glamorous and easy option for students – they must have a realistic view of the jobs available and aptitude needed to get on.

Recruitment consultancy New Frontiers managing director Julia Feuell said that a substantial block of work experience was an essential requirement for employers. However delegates agreed that tutor input and structure was essential during work experience, otherwise students could be left to flounder in busy offices.

Ideally students would complete the diploma ready for the workplace and to take in further specialist training from employers when they have got a job.

GoSkills 14-19 Development Manager David Summers assured delegates that the diploma would not be an ‘easy option’.

People 1st Travel & Tourism Diploma development manager John Humphreys said that further consultation would continue and by March a ‘Line of Learning Statement’ would be produced which would be a draft of the possible course content.

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