Future You Foundation and Industry Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to Address Talent Crisis

The successful ITT Future You careers initiative launched in 2008 is today (June 16) announcing the creation of the ‘Future You Foundation’, with the aim of supporting the industry to navigate staff recruitment and retention challenges. The new foundation has opened its first crowdfunding campaign, hosted by Crowdfunder, and is seeking contributions from individuals across the industry and offering sponsorship opportunities to travel businesses

Travel industry professionals, Claire Steiner, Danny Waine and Paul Cowley will lead the Future You Foundation; which is aiming to raise an initial £50,000 in seed funding from industry, to help raise the profile of careers in travel and amplify industry initiatives to attract talent into the sector.

Future You already hosts an annual conference at World Travel Market London, 8 ‘On The Road’ events in England and provides careers resources to schools, colleges and universities. All events are organised by a team of industry volunteers and showcase a diverse range of speakers and job roles.

The Future You Foundation will bring industry together to collaborate on talent challenges, directly create job roles for graduates, apprentices and internships for students, expanding its reach across the UK to include events in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; as well as creating a Global Advisory Board of industry stakeholders. With the funding, in addition to new events, during the 2022/23 academic year, the Future You Foundation will launch an online talent platform to showcase students and graduates actively looking for jobs within travel and tourism businesses, launch a mentoring scheme and host industry masterclasses aimed at the next generation of travel industry professionals.

Speaking at the launch of the Future You Foundation at the ITT Conference in Istanbul, Claire Steiner said: “The Future You Foundation is a collaborative industry initiative, bringing together the travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries to champion what a great sector this is to work in. All parts of the sector are struggling to attract, recruit and retain talent, so we’re asking the industry to get behind the Future You Foundation and to work together to shout about the opportunities that we offer.”

Danny Waine added: “We’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved since launching Future You back in 2008. All our volunteers give their spare time, evenings and weekends to bring our events to life, inspiring students and graduates along the way. The Future You Foundation is an opportunity for travel companies to get their brand in front of individuals who want to work in our fantastic sector. There has been a lot of talk about talent struggles lately and we have been working over the last 14 years to connect talent, education and industry. We now want to take that to the next level.”

Paul Cowley commented: “The industry needs to be proactive and engage the next generation to help fill talent gaps. The students and graduates that we meet at our Future You events are actively seeking employment in our sector and we have the most diverse audience in the travel industry. The flexible job roles offered by travel businesses also increases accessibility opportunities for all.”

The Future You Foundation Crowdfunder page is now live for individuals and travel businesses to contribute to and will be open for an initial 4 week period (closing on 14th July 2022): crowdfunder.co.uk/p/future-you-foundation

Ahead of its launch, the Future You Foundation has garnered support from across industry:

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA – The Travel Association, said:“Travel is a fascinating industry and every day brings exciting new challenges.  It’s important that we share our passion for the sector with the next generation, show how varied the range of job roles is and the rewarding career paths it offers. ITT’s Future You Foundation will focus on exactly this and, alongside initiatives such as ABTA’s Regional Student Representatives Programme, will excite and inspire young people to join our sector.”

Travel Counsellors’ UK Managing Director Kirsten Hughes explains: “The future You Foundation is a great, new initiative which we wholeheartedly support. We sincerely back their endeavours to continue to raise the profile of the travel and tourism industry, appealing to the next generation looking to start a career within a fascinating and exciting industry. The Foundation will also showcase to the industry the volume of talent searching for their preferred role.

“We all know that the recruitment and retention of talent within our industry has often been an inherent challenge, however together, as an industry we need to break this cycle and dispel the myth that roles within travel and tourism are often seen as a steppingstone or interim role. Now is the time to act, as our industry recovers from the past 24 months, we need to capitalise on the amazing talent available; be it school leavers, graduates, or those that due to the pandemic and through no fault of their own, have struggled to find suitable placements. As a digital first platform, powered by human touch ITT’s approach to supporting the next generation of travel entrepreneurs compliments our own approach and efforts towards the recruitment and retention of talent.”

About the Future You Foundation

Created in 2022, the Future You Foundation is a travel community initiative; bringing talent, education and industry together to inspire the next generation.

By Crowdfunding and with your contribution. What ITT Future You will do in 2022/23, bringing together stakeholders from across the travel, tourism, aviation and hospitality industries:

  • Launch the ‘Future You Foundation
  • Directly create at least 3 new job roles in the industry (including: 1 full-time graduate position, 1 full-time apprentice position and up to 4 x 3 month student internships (covering a 12-month period))
  • Expand our reach across the UKto host a further 3 new ‘On The Road’ events in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • Create a ‘Global Advisory Board’ of key industry stakeholders – (1 to 2 meetings p/y)
  • Introduce ‘OpportunITTies’ an online talent platform, to showcase students and graduates actively looking for jobs within travel and tourism businesses
  • Reach target of more than 25,000 students and graduatesby the end of the 2022/23 academic year

About ITT Future You

Founded in 2008, ITT Future You is the leading careers initiative in the UK travel and tourism industry. A not-for-profit initiative that aims to inspire the next generation of industry professionals to choose aviation, travel, tourism and hospitality for their future career path. With events including the ITT Future You ‘Conference’ hosted at WTM London annually, ‘On The Road’ at universities in 8 cities across the UK, ‘Global’ in Russia, Kenya, Brazil & Ireland and ‘International’ virtual masterclasses for attendees worldwide.