Employers’ support will be critical to the success of the new Travel and Tourism Diploma, which was officially launched today by People 1st and GoSkills.

The diploma will be available to 14 to 19 year olds and will be taught in schools and colleges in England from this September as an alternative to GCSEs/A levels and apprenticeships.

Students will be able to choose from specialised modules such as sustainable tourism, customer service, business travel and the cruise market.

Speaking at the launch in London today, People 1st chief executive Brian Wisdom called on businesses to support schools and colleges in their local areas by providing work experience, masterclasses as well as mentoring and shadowing opportunities.

Wisdom said: “It is critical for employers to engage students through quality placements.”

Abta chairman John McEwan, who chairs the diploma steering group, said there had already been an “unprecedented level” of employer engagement in the diploma.

ITT chairman Steven Freudmann added: “Diploma students will have an inherent advantage over others in their applications for jobs in this rapidly professionalising industry.”