New tourism education group to seek industry views

The new Tourism Education and Skills Working Group will seek the industry’s views to help shape future training of young people in the sector.

The group, set up in April in response to the Department for Education’s update on its review of post-16 qualifications, has announced plans for a series of industry workshops to get input from the industry before the end of the year.

The decision was made at the group’s meeting on September 12 to discuss the next steps to secure an alternative, replacement travel qualification for young people to access jobs in the sector.

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This follows the government’s decision to introduce T-levels, as part of wider education reform, which will see all current travel and tourism courses at level 3 in England defunded from September 2026. No T-level is planned for travel and tourism.

At its latest meeting the group agreed on a set of core themes to be covered by a future level 3 travel and tourism qualification to prepare students for further study or a career in the travel industry.

The industry workshops, to be held over the next few months, will seek feedback on the themes required for training. The conclusions of these workshops will be provided to the educational providers developing courses to replace those due to end in September 2026.

Workshop participants will be invited to take part in activities to demonstrate the industry demand that exists for the courses, a vital part of obtaining approval for new courses, while there will also be the chance for the industry to engage directly with education providers as they put together course content early next year.

Vicki Wolf, Abta’s head of education and career development, said: “This is a real opportunity for the travel and tourism industry to shape the future of level three skills training for the sector and it is fantastic to see such enthusiasm and a collaborative approach from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.”

Claire Steiner, director of the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT), hoped a broad spectrum of industry professionals would give input on future courses.

“Next steps will involve all of us going out to our individual memberships seeking their input in a series of workshops and I would encourage all areas of the sector to take part as your views and experience will be invaluable in helping to shape new education courses,” she said.

John Garside, a lecturer from Sutton Coldfield College, part of BMet, said the aim was to provide “industry recognised qualifications”.

He said: “I continue to be excited and inspired by the collaboration with all members of the The Tourism Education and Skills Working Group as we look to negotiate the changes to level 3 Travel and Tourism qualifications.  The aspiration is we are able to continue to provide industry recognized qualifications that provide pathways into Higher Education and are rewarding to our future students.”

Anyone interested in taking part is encouraged to contact their trade body, such as Abta, the Business Travel Association, UKHospitality or UKinbound, The Association of National Tourist offices and Representatives (Antor), or ITT.

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