Atas partners with AS Training to host apprentices at events

The Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) has partnered with AS Training to offer places to apprentices at the association’s events.

The first two apprentices to benefit from the initiative took part in the Atas Experiences trip in Lake Como last month.

Sky Needham (Travel the Globe) and Hayley Jordan (Destination) were both selected by AS Training, an associate member of Atas, as they have both performed well in their apprenticeships since starting in August.

During their time in Lake Como, they visited Villa Erba for a welcome reception with Italian tourism and hospitality representatives; took part in a workshop; joined a boat trip on the lake with TTC Tour Brands; and met fellow agents and suppliers during dine-arounds in Como restaurants.

Hayley joined G Adventures on an e-biking tour while Sky took part in the Riviera Travel excursion to Villa del Balbianello, which has featured in Star Wars and James Bond films.

Sky also joined the pre-event fam trip hosted by Intrepid Travel, which saw a group of 14 agents travel by Eurostar to Paris and take an Intrepid tour around Montmartre.

They then travelled by TGV for a stay in Zurich and then onto Como by rail to meet the rest of the Experiences delegates.

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Claire Brighton, Atas director, said: “We value our partnership with AS Training and, at our conference in Liverpool last autumn, we made a commitment to help apprentices understand and embrace the sector as it is a growing part of the travel industry.

“We want to include several apprentices at all our events – and we were keen for this to include our first trip outside the UK.

“We asked Michelle at AS Training to help us select two apprentices to join the Atas Experiences event.

“And when we asked Intrepid if we could include one apprentice on their pre-fam trip they were very keen to include someone.

“We hope the trip gave Sky and Hayley a better understand of the sector and this will make them more confident selling touring and adventure holidays.

“We have more activity planned for the apprentices including a webinar and places at our annual conference, which will be in Leeds (October 15-16).

Sky Needham travelled by train from London to Lake Como for the Atas Experiences event.
Sky Needham travelled by train from London to Lake Como for the Atas Experiences event.

Michelle Van Sprang, AS Training director, said the apprentices in Como had “a fantastic time”.

“What an amazing opportunity and experience,” she told Travel Weekly. “It is our goal to give as many of our apprentices as we can the opportunity to experience products, services and new destinations as part of their academic journey.

“It also brings the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and peers.

“Adventure and touring is such a growing market and forms one of our lessons within the travel curriculum, so we want our apprentices to understand what Atas is all about and what supplier partners offer.”

She added: “We chose Hayley and Sky based on reward and recognition; both have worked extremely hard on their apprenticeship, going above and beyond in their assignments and shining in the workplace.

“They were selected by their assessor based on their contribution to their apprenticeship and in the workplace.

“I’m delighted the trip was a huge success and I believe it will give them lifelong memories, plus a desire and passion to encourage others who are thinking about starting a career in travel.

“They will also have first-hand experience of a brand-new destination, products and service and newfound knowledge of Atas and partners. This is invaluable.”

Needham added: “I enjoyed soaking up the culture on the Intrepid tour of ‘Hidden Montmartre’ after we travelled on the Eurostar train.

“I’ve been sending content back to my agency about the train trips and Lake Como for our social media.

“Travelling by train has been such as good opportunity to experience something different and our clients are showing more interest in rail.”

Jordan took part the G Adventures e-biking tour, which included lunch at a pizza restaurant and water taxi trips.

“Lake Como is stunning; we saw so much of it on the tour,” said Jordan.

“It’s been useful meeting other agents and getting to know all the suppliers.”

From left: Sky Needham, Claire Brighton and Hayley Jordan at Atas Experiences event in Lake Como, by Sarah Lucy Brown.

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