The first education and skills working group meeting took place this week (Monday 22 May) to discuss the future of further education courses in travel and tourism.
The group was established in response to the Department for Education’s update on its review of post-16 qualifications.
The first meeting was used to clarify concerns raised about the future of tourism qualifications at level 3 in recent weeks, understand what the prospects are for further education in travel and tourism in England and agree next steps.
It established that:
- There appears to be an opportunity to develop new non-A level travel and tourism qualifications from 2026, and that the industry has the opportunity to shape the content of these courses.
- The announcement by City and Guilds that it will no longer provide further education travel and tourism courses is unrelated to the Government review. Other providers still plan to offer courses.
The group is developing a fact sheet which summarises the situation to provide clarity to industry and education providers.
Vicki Wolf, Head of Education and Career Development at ABTA – The Travel Association said: “The last few weeks have created a lot of uncertainty for further education students, lecturers and colleges, as well as travel and tourism employers. It was good to get a better understanding of the full circumstances and what happens next. While there are still areas that need clarification from the Government, it appears that there will be route for future further education courses specific to travel and tourism. They are vital in preparing young people for a career in this amazing sector.”
Claire Steiner, Chair of the Institute of Travel and Tourism’s Education and Training Committee said: “What was really encouraging from this week’s meeting was the energy and enthusiasm from everyone involved. While the circumstances are far from ideal – there seems to be a good opportunity to shape the courses to suit our sector’s future needs. It’s good that industry, associations and education providers can work together as part of this new group to do just that.”
John Garside, Lecturer in Aviation and Travel & Tourism at Birmingham Metropolitan College said: “It was really great to get together with the group to unpick what is happening with further education. We discussed the importance of making sure there are vocational qualifications available in travel and tourism for those young people who don’t want to do A levels but wish to continue with education to set themselves up for a career in the travel industry or go onto higher education. It seems that there could be a potential route to do that, and a great opportunity for education and employers to shape the content of future courses. I look forward to being part of that.”
The organisations involved in the working group are:
- Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE)
- Aviation Industry Skills Council (AISB)
- Birmingham Metropolitan College
- Business Travel Association (BTA)
- Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT)
- NCFE (provider of travel and tourism qualifications)
- Tourism Alliance