The travel industry has had its bid for a National Skills Academy for travel and tourism rejected by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

The bid was submitted last month by sector skills council People 1st and a group of employers, including Advantage Travel Centres, Hoseasons, The Co-operative Travel Group and Thomas Cook.

Its aim was to address the skills gap in the industry by helping students gain apprenticeships within small businesses, promoting better communication between colleges and employers, and developing management training schemes for current staff.

Despite the LSC’s decision not to place travel and tourism on the short list, those involved said they were still determined to work together and find another way of setting up a skills academy.

Hoseasons chief executive Richard Carrick said: “Considering the size and economic importance of the travel and tourism industry, we are extremely disappointed with this decision, especially as the LSC confirmed that our bid demonstrated good employer and sector support, with our vision and success measures clearly defined. 

“However, I believe there is an appetite within the industry to continue to work together and see if we can find an industry solution to develop a skills academy dedicated to our sector.”

People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom said: “We are unclear why the feedback from the LSC focused on wanting to understand more clearly the transformational impact of the bid, but we will assess the views of the other partners involved to see if we can find an alternative approach to developing the skills academy the sector so clearly wants.”