A £112 million government investment in qualifications and training for travel, tourism and leisure sector employees has been declared a “huge step forward” for the travel industry.
The funding will be available to employers by the end of the year through government body Train to Gain, which assesses the training needs of companies and identifies funding requirements.
The cash will be spent on developing relevant travel and tourism qualifications and making up to 50,000 short courses available.
Another aim of the deal is to simplify the application process for funding, which has been branded confusing and difficult in the past.
The move will be officially unveiled by secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills John Denham this week.
“This deal will ensure employers will have access to flexible, world-class training tailored to the specific needs of their business, delivered when and where they need it,” said Denham.
Sector skills council People1st said the deal would increase flexibility for companies thatwant to access training. “This is a huge step forward for the industry –it shows the government has been listening.”
ABTA education liaison executive Vicki Wolf welcomed the funding. She said: “It’s a fallacy that the travel industry doesn’t invest in training –it has just been hard to access.
“Working with Train to Gain can be complicated and difficult, so anything that makes it easier to access the funding is good news.
“Short courses are valuable because many people don’t have time to attend a long course and these focus on gaps in employees’ knowledge.”
Training for Travel managing partner Beverley Platt, who provides training to TUI UK and The Co-operative Travel Group, added: “This is great news –it shows the government has recognised theneed for more training in the industry.”