Upgrade your travel business with apprenticeship training

Travel agent

During Covid, travel companies were hit hard and many suffered from redundancies, business closures, and the loss of skilled employees for what appeared to more stable industries.

However, post-pandemic, leisure and business travel has largely bounced back, making it the perfect time for travel companies to recruit new talent, invest in staff development and grow their business.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the number of trips abroad by UK residents was down by just 7.4% last year compared to 2019. Meanwhile, UK resident spend abroad reached an all-time high of £72.4 billion in 2023, £13.9 billion more than in 2022, and £10.1 billion more than in 2019.

ABTA’s consumer research also claims that consumers are 37% more likely to use a travel professional now to book their holiday than before the pandemic, and the expertise and reassurances of booking with a travel company are in high demand.

Whilst recovery in the business travel sector has been a little slower, many predict that demand will soon match and exceed pre-pandemic levels. Even at 2022 levels, “business travel expenditure contributed £27.5 billion in gross value added (GVA) and 283,500 full-time equivalent jobs to the UK economy” (British Travel Association and CBI).

There is therefore a huge opportunity for travel companies to gain a competitive advantage and futureproof their businesses through apprenticeship training. In Business Travel News’ review of the UK market in 2023, difficulty in recruiting skilled staff was seen as the biggest challenge to future success. And Travel Weekly recently reported that travel companies are “being forced to cast the net wider and invest further in apprenticeships as they continue to battle to fill vacancies”.

Damar has been helping travel companies across England upskill their staff and recruit new talent for many years. Our offer includes accounting, business admin, customer service, data protection, legal, management, and our specialist travel consultant apprenticeship. For insights into how travel companies can use apprenticeships within support functions, see Unlocking value through business support apprenticeships.  We also asked two of our travel partners, Blue Cube Travel and Good Travel Management, about the impact that the travel consultant apprenticeship is having on their business.

Tracey Wilson, Operations Director at Blue Cube Travel, said: “The travel apprenticeship gives our apprentices a comprehensive skillset tailored to the travel industry. This includes expertise in travel planning, customer service, logistics, and the use of booking systems. By integrating these skilled individuals into our team, we elevate the overall proficiency and efficiency of our organisation.

“Well-trained apprentices contribute to superior customer service. Their ability to handle client requests, resolve issues promptly, and personalise travel experiences enhances customer satisfaction. 

“In addition, apprentices educated in sustainable and responsible travel practices can help our organisation implement and promote eco-friendly travel options. This not only attracts environmentally conscious travellers but also strengthens our commitment to corporate social responsibility.

“Offering apprenticeships demonstrates our commitment to career development and employee growth. Apprenticeships contribute to a dynamic and inclusive workplace culture. The integration of enthusiastic, motivated apprentices energizes the team, promoting a collaborative and supportive environment that benefits all employees.”

Vicki Nutbrown, Operations Manager at Good Travel Management, said, “We have had some great success stories with the travel consultant apprenticeship. For example, one of our travel apprentices is still working within the business seven years after joining and has now progressed to team leader level.

 “We have used the travel consultant apprenticeship to upskill existing members of the team as well as to recruit fresh talent into the business. The apprenticeship provides them with a solid understanding of the travel industry and develops their customer service skills, enabling them to become productive and valued members of our team.” 

Learn more about the travel consultant apprenticeship or get in touch to find out more about everything we have to offer.