Embrace change was the message given to agents by former cabinet minister Rt. Hon Michael Portillo.

Speaking about his own career highs and lows, he said that people should be open to new challenges.

He said: “The things I am doing today are all new experiences. To be open to new experiences I think is a fundamental thing.”

The former politician warned that there were tough times ahead in terms of the economy and that the good operators would prosper.

He added: “I’m quite pessimistic about the British economy. This is a time the best performers will shine. It is a moment of extraordinary opportunity.”

He also revealed he used to work in the travel industry working on coach tours around Europe.

“I’ve never had a position of such accountability as when I was a tour manager. That is where I learnt all my public speaking skills.”