The Tourism Education and Skills Working Group to seek input from wider travel industry on new training options for young people

The Tourism Education and Skills Working Group, which is looking at the challenges around post-16 education, met on 12 September to discuss the next steps in trying to secure an alternative qualification. 

The Group was formed back in April 2023 with the intention of proactively shaping future educational pathways in the travel and tourism industry. This is following the Government’s decision to continue with its wider education reform plans – including the introduction of T-levels – which will see all current travel and tourism courses at level 3, in England, defunded from September 2026. 

As no T–level is planned for travel and tourism, effective replacement training courses are essential to help ensure access to the travel industry for younger people. 

This is what the working group is looking at, and at the latest meeting the Group agreed a set of core themes that would need to be covered by future level 3 travel and tourism qualifications to best prepare students for further study or to begin their careers in the industry. 

The next steps will involve a series of industry workshops to be held before the end of the year, seeking views and input on the themes. Conclusions will then be provided to those educational providers developing replacement courses to those due to end in September 2026.

Participants in the workshops will also be invited to take part in activities to demonstrate the industry demand that exists for the courses, which is a vital part of obtaining approval for new courses. There will also be opportunities for the industry to engage directly with educational providers as they put the course curriculums together early next year.

Vicki Wolf ABTA Head of Education and Career Development said: “This is a real opportunity for the travel and tourism industry to shape the future of level three skills training for the sector and it is fantastic to see such enthusiasm and a collaborative approach from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.”

Claire Steiner Director of the Institute of Travel and Tourism said: “Myself and the other members of the Tourism Education and Skills Working Group held a very productive meeting last week with informed and enlightening input from a wide range of experts across the industry. Next steps will involve all of us going out to our individual memberships seeking their input in a series of workshops and I would encourage all areas of the sector to take part as your views and experience will be invaluable in helping to shape new education courses.”

John Garside from Sutton Coldfield College, part of BMet, said: “I continue to be excited and inspired by the collaboration with all members of the The Tourism Education and Skills Working Group as we look to negotiate the changes to level 3 Travel and Tourism qualifications.  The aspiration is we are able to continue to provide industry recognized qualifications that provide pathways into Higher Education and are rewarding to our future students.”

Further details will be released in due course and businesses interested in taking part in the workshops should contact their trade body – ABTA, the BTA, or UKHospitality and UKinbound – or through the other organisations involved in the Travel and Skills Working Group, which include ANTOR and the ITT.

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