Over 90% of people seeking a job in travel look for employers who offer good training and development programmes, says new research from sector skills council People 1st and ABTA.

The survey,  which covered 1,000 employees and 58 employers revealed that recruitment has improved due to the training programmes companies offer.

The good news is 84% of employees have received some sort of training within the last 12 months with the most common being familiarisation trips followed by informal training and formal training.

Of those that had received training in the last 12 months 86 percent of employees rated the quality as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

Despite the economic climate half of businesses claim to expect their training budget to increase slightly over the next five years with 17% thinking it will raise significantly.

The top three reasons cited by employers for training their staff are to improve customer service, improve efficiency and generate new business.

People 1st chief executive  Brian Wisdom, urged employers to continue to invest in tranining staff. He said: “Training budgets are often the first activity to be cut in times of economic difficulty, yet a lack of investment in training can lead to business failure. 

“This timely piece of research clearly shows clear commercial benefits from investing in training and the importance employees and job seekers attach to working with employers committed to investing in their ongoing development.”

ABTA’s education liaison executive Vicki Wolf,  said: “This research demonstrates the direct link between investing in staff training and ongoing professional development and increasing staff motivation, profitability and retention. ABTA is working very closely with People 1st and other industry partners to ensure that our Members understand the value of training and investing in staff – an example of this is the Accredited Travel Professional Scheme.

Other survey findings:

  • 43 percent of employers provide training to all their staff each year, with just 2 percent of employers providing no training at all.

  • Despite the economic climate, half of businesses expect their training budget to increase slightly over the next five years, and 17 percent think it will increase significantly.

  • 23 percent of employers receive government funding to help train their staff mainly to support NVQs and apprenticeship programmes.

  • The average staff turnover rate from the survey was 15 percent.  This compares well against the average for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry as a whole at 30 percent.

When asked about the impact on their business of investing in training and development, the results showed that:

  • 96 percent believe customer satisfaction has increased

  • 88 percent believe their profits have increased

  • 83 percent believe productivity has increased

  • 84 percent believe sales have increased

  • 72 percent believe customer complaints have reduced

More news from the ABTA Travel Convention 2008.

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