Focus on Travel & Tourism

Today’s BTECs are more focused, more aspirational and more relevant…….. BTECs are known to increase student engagement, enable students to progress, develop student life skills and add value and variety. Grantham College offer a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma/90-Credit Diploma in Travel & Tourism and BTEC Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Travel & Tourism which are taught in the classroom and in the college’s replica air cabin.

A team of four staff, with a wealth of experience, pass on their knowledge, experience and skills to students studying on the BTEC courses. All of the Travel & Tourism staff have teaching qualifications with two of the staff having an MSc degree in International Tourism or BA Honours in Travel and Tourism Management. Staff have worked for the likes of Thomas Cook, Cosmos Holidays, First Choice in Corfu, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain and Greece in a variety of roles including from overseas holiday representatives to resort managers with one member of staff working abroad in the Army.

Students studying on any of the BTEC Travel & Tourism courses at Grantham College will gain practical and hands-on knowledge of the sector through primary school visits to the replica air cabin, Training at Thomson Fly East Midlands airport and work placements in Rimini.

Ex Travel & Tourism student Tom Moorhouse who progressed from the Level 2 Introduction to Cabin Crew to Level 3 Diploma in Travel & Tourism undertook a two week work placement in Rimini, Italy, as part of his studies. Tom worked on the reception within a hotel as his work placement, he said ‘ The experience was invaluable. I got to see how a hotel is run oversees andgot to learn some Italian whilst there.

Progression to Higher Education……

On successful completion of any of the BTEC Travel & Tourism courses at Grantham College you may decide to progress on to Higher Education. Previous BTEC Travel & Tourism students have been highly successful in gaining university places going on to study degree courses in Tourism Management, International Tourism Management and Tourism Management and Event Management at Sheffield Hallam University, University of Lincoln and Leeds Beckett University. Travel student of the year for 2014 was Hannah Freeman who achieved triple D, equivalent to 3 As at A-Level and 360 UCAS points, and has gone on to Sheffield Hallam University to study Tourism Management.

Independent research on progression and career opportunities for young people in the UK demonstrates how BTECs open doors into Higher Education and beyond.

Figures based on research revealed in January 2011 from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that:

  • More than 100,000 BTEC students apply to Higher Education and make the university grade
  • In 2011, admissions to UK universities by BTEC students had risen 30% year on year
  • Ninety-five per cent of Higher Education Institutions accept BTEC students, including Russell Group universities
  • More than 50% of 20-30-year-olds going on to higher education are BTEC students
  • 20% of level 3 BTEC holders go on to undergraduate degree courses*
  • With a level 3 BTEC you can boost your lifetime’s earnings by up to £92,000.*

* Independent research carried out by London Economics in 2010.

The world of work…….

There are currently 3.7 million people employed in the travel and tourism sector.

What’s it like working in the sector?

Development of the heritage industry and a drive to recruit more graduates in tourism has created opportunities in the sector.

Opportunities in the tourism sector can be:

  • travel and tourism – travel agencies, tour operators, adventure tourism
  • hotel and customer service
  • passenger services – air, sea (including cruise liners), rail and road.

Who are the main graduate employers?

Examples of big companies operating in the industry include:

  • Parkwood Leisure;
  • Merlin Entertainments;
  • Center Parcs;
  • The British Horse Racing Authority (BHA);
  • Thomson;
  • Expedia UK;
  • Jet 2 Holidays;
  • Thomas Cook;
  • Flight Centre Travel Group;
  • Carnival UK (includes P&O Cruises and Cunard Cruise Line).

The majority of employers in this sector are small to medium sized companies (SMEs). Employment opportunities are also available in local authorities, national governing bodies of sport and sports associations.

What’s it like working in the sector?

Graduates entering the tourism sector can expect:

  • a customer-facing working environment – many roles require interaction with customers from a variety of age groups;
  • to not have typical 9am-5pm working hours – employees will be hired on seasonal contracts or asked to work irregular and sometimes long or unsociable hours. On the plus side there are good opportunities to travel or live away from home.

What are the key issues in the tourism sector?

Despite its perception as low skilled the tourism sector needs to recruit 215,000 people into skilled roles by 2020. This includes graduate roles in areas such as general management, finance, HR and marketing (People 1st, State of the Nation 2013).

Post-recession, employment opportunities in the travel industry are now on the increase. In 2013 nearly a quarter of travel agencies were reporting vacancies, compared to 13% in 2011. Travel companies have also significantly increased the amount of training they provide to employees to encourage career development (People 1st, 2014 Insight on Travel).

Graduate jobs in tourism

These job profiles are examples of graduate careers in the tourism sector:

  • Tour Operator/Manager
  • Cruising
  • Outdoor activities/education manager
  • Theme park manager
  • Tour manager
  • Tourism officer
  • Tourist information centre manager
  • Travel agency manager.