Young industry employees urge firms to capitalise on their skills

Young people at the start of their travel careers have urged firms to capitalise on their interests and digital knowledge to help attract a new generation of staff and customers.

Speakers on a Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders panel at Travel Weekly’s People Summit said new recruits could offer a different perspective on engaging with audiences.

They also warned the industry had to work harder to educate schoolteachers and pupils and their parents about the opportunities to forge a lifetime career in the industry, arguing it was “too late” to start outreach when students reached college.

More: Comment: Gen Z travellers will alter the industry as we know it

Comment: How brands can reach Gen Z travellers in 2023

Social media main holiday inspiration for more than a third of Gen Z

Cerys Glynn (pictured, right), who joined Jet2holidays 18 months ago and whose role as emerging talent & careers administrator includes responsibility for the operator’s schools programme, said brands needed to engage with potential recruits on social media channels such as TikTok and Instagram.

And she said her own experience showed travel and tourism courses and careers were still widely viewed in schools as second choice options for “students who couldn’t get a language”.

“My experience going into schools suggests people still don’t think it’s a serious career choice and that was my experience at school too. I knew about Jet2 and was lucky that a friend recommended its apprenticeship scheme, as I never knew how many roles there are in travel,” she said.

“It’s still engrained that travel jobs are just cabin crew, travel agents or pilots, and we need to educate people that it’s so much more and do it in ways they understand.

“You have to do it in the right way, but if I had seen a day in the life of someone similar to my age and doing an amazing job on TikTok or Instagram, that would have made me so much more inclined to go for a job in the industry.”

Chelsea Toco (centre), placement sales & marketing coordinator at Intrepid Travel, agreed younger employees could offer a different perspective to attract both staff and customers.

She said she felt confident to offer her views at Intrepid and said other companies could benefit from listening more to younger staff.

“We’ve got really good ideas and we’re very creative, so working somewhere where you feel people are listening to you is really important,” she said. “They might not agree 100% but that idea might turn into something that brings real benefits.”

Eesha Kaur Logani (left), a business management graduate at easyJet who is currently working in the company’s PR and public affairs team, said companies needed to nurture young employees and showcase opportunities for career progression to attract and retain them.

She said: “Gen Zs are the future of the travel industry and they are thinking of their futures, how they can get to a point where they can have financial freedom and be well placed for later in life.

“On my scheme I am currently in the public affairs team, then I’m in PR for six months, safety and compliance for six months and, in the last six months, I can choose myself. When you are young you are always looking forward to new things, so experiencing all these opportunities to build a career is really important.”

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.