University Centre Bishop Burton supports skills gap in Travel and Tourism industry with flexible study options

In response to a global skills shortage in the Travel and Tourism industry University Centre Bishop Burton are excited to announce an innovative approach to the programme delivery of their HNC/HND Travel and Tourism qualifications.

The situation within the sector has been brought to the fore again in the wake of huge delays and travel disruption at airports and recent announcements by Easy Jet of their plans to remove seats on planes and cut passenger numbers in an attempt to address staff shortages. Pre-Covid in 2019 Travel and Tourism was one of the largest sectors globally responsible for the creation of 1 in 4 jobs. Fast forward to 2022 and the picture is very different. 

Demand for travel has risen sharply as the world moves out of Covid restrictions but for an industry that lost 62 million jobs in 2020 alone during the pandemic, the opportunity for the sector to recover fully is being hampered by an extreme lack of manpower. This is largely a result of many employees having extended periods of not being able to work moving into different sectors. 

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s latest economic projections from October 2021, employment within the industry is set to see a significant 18% upsurge from 2 million jobs to 324 million during 2022. LMI Humber also predicts growth of 3.8% over the next six years and an industry worth £257 billion by 2025. There are therefore huge employment opportunities within the sector. However, recovery is only possible with the workforce to support it and so there is a sector wide move to proactively address the current issue of staff shortages.

University Centre Bishop Burton is taking steps to support these endeavours with Travel and Tourism qualifications that take into consideration recommendations from the World Travel and Tourism Council. These include flexible study options in order to support those who may want to up-skill or make a career change but are unable to commit to full-time education.  

Travel and Tourism Lecturer, Camille LeBoeuf who is pioneering the new delivery approach said ‘The HND and HNC programmes in Travel and Tourism have been specifically designed to provide a higher level of study, delivering a well-rounded approach to the travel and tourism industry from managing customer experience, to tour operator management to the highly important concept of sustainable tourism. This delivers participants a thorough understanding and knowledge of key principles of hospitality, travel and tourism, all of which will provide an excellent grounding for careers within the sector.” 

The University Centre has a real desire to make these courses as accessible and inclusive as possible by removing some of the logistical and circumstantial barriers that can prohibit programme entry. Remote learning and evening and part-time course delivery plus an apprenticeship style approach are all available to facilitate this. With an industry at risk of reaching crisis point this methodology hopes to swell the ranks of future travel and tourism professionals. 

Camille further commented “We recognise that a variety of commitments, be those work or family orientated can be a barrier to study, therefore we have created flexibility in the programme delivery to support individuals who may currently be working and want to up-skill, go for a promotion or make a career change. This new provision aims to be as accommodating as possible, enabling anyone one to embark on these exciting courses and enter into this fantastic sector that is such a rewarding industry to work within.” 

University Centre Bishop Burton’s academic team have a wealth of industry experience providing first-hand knowledge of working within travel and tourism.  They foster close links and relationships with local travel and tourism business such as travel agencies and leisure, food and accommodation providers. Furthermore, they have excellent access to the cruise industry with guaranteed interviews for participants on completion of the Certificate in Cruise Tourism & Shipboard Operations awarded by the Cruise Academy. 

Head of Higher Education Faculty Mel Watson said “Part of our duty as an educational institution is to leverage opportunities for rewarding career paths for our students and help to meet skills-gaps within fast developing sectors. This new approach to programme delivery for our Travel and Tourism provision in combination with the academic expertise and exposure to industry partners will deliver an enriching and inspiring experience – empowering the next generation of highly employable individuals for the Travel and Tourism sector.”

Applications are open now for all courses to commence in September. For further information please visit University Centre’s website or call 01964 553000 for more information.