First-of-its-kind business travel qualification takes flight

School leavers or college students seeking a career in business travel can now take advantage of a brand new technical qualification from NCFE.

The educational services provider and awarding organisation partnered with specialist training provider to the business travel industry, Travilearn, to help bring the Level 3 Award in Business Travel to the market.

The 65-hour long learning programme, which is currently being rolled out to training centres and FE colleges across the UK, has been carefully designed to be delivered as a standalone qualification, or as part of a wider travel and tourism award to give learners a full flavour of what the business travel sector has to offer.

The first-of-its-kind qualification has been based around content that had originally been created by Travilearn for use as an e-learning tool after the company’s managing director, Karen McKenna, recognised a gap in the market for an educational platform which focused solely on business travel.

“Travel and Tourism qualifications have always been widely available across UK colleges and universities, but Business Travel has not been part of the curriculum, even though its contribution to the global economy was forecasted at $1.3 trillion in 2019.  With further growth predicted in the next five years, there is an increasing demand for new skills in the industry.

“A recent survey conducted in 2018 by Buying Business Travel of the top 50 Travel Management Companies in the UK identified that one of their biggest barriers to further growth was recruiting staff with the relevant skills.

“In order to address these skills gaps, we partnered with the Business Travel Association (BTA) to create an online learning platform, equivalent to a diploma, which could be utilised by business travel companies to attract new skills or to upskill existing employees.

“The training programme has been very successful amongst the business travel community who expressed the need for it to be made available to colleges and universities. This is when we decided to approach NCFE about getting the course accredited.”

Travilearn reached out to NCFE in April 2019 with a business case for developing a qualification from its existing e-learning materials which could be studied as a technical award in its own right, or as part of NCFE’s wider Level 2 and Level 3 Travel and Tourism awards.

Chris Tubbrit, product development team manager at NCFE, commented:

“We were delighted to support Travilearn with this project.

“Because much of the course content had already been created with travel experts and in line with the needs of the sector, we were able to take what was already in existence to reverse engineer a qualification which could be taught physically or virtually in colleges and training centres.

“Expanding on the existing travel and tourism awards to cover additional sectors is a fantastic way to help learners experience all of the different aspects of an industry so they can make better informed choices about their future career pathway.”

Commenting on how this new Award will help to benefit the business travel sector at large, Clive Wratten, CEO at the Business Travel Association (BTA) added:

“We’re thrilled to support this initiative from NCFE in partnership with Travilearn. The business travel sector is one that is sometimes overlooked when considering a career in travel so this is an excellent way to raise the profile of our industry. It’s incredibly important to attract and retain new talent in order to future proof the industry and guarantee its sustainability.”

Through its core purpose to ‘Promote and Advance Learning’, NCFE is committed to improve social mobility and support people into employment through its diverse and nationally recognised range of NCFE and CACHE branded vocational qualifications and resources.

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