Local travel and tourism students are taking workplaces in the North East by storm, proving that they have what it takes to make it in the industry.
Twenty two students on the BTEC Travel and Tourism course at Sunderland College are on placements at some of the region’s top travel companies across Gateshead, Newcastle and Wearside.
Local employers including Hays Travel, Swissair at Newcastle Airport, the DFDS ferry port, and several large hotels and travel agencies are taking part, giving students invaluable hands-on experience.
Megan Teasdale, who is currently on a placement at the Marriott Hotel, Gateshead said: “It’s great to put the skills I’ve learnt on the course to the test, and this placement has given me a real taste of working in a hotel.
“I feel a lot more confident in applying for jobs now, and I would definitely recommend the course to anyone.”
Previous graduates from the course have gone on to work as cabin crew for Jet 2 and Thomas Cook, while four students from the 2011 course now work for Hays Travel Agency.
Peter Mills of the Marriott hotel in Gateshead said: “We’re really pleased with the calibre of placement students from Sunderland College – it’s an invaluable way to give young people a route into the tourism industry, and it boosts the economy here in the North East to retain talented graduates.”
Students on the course complete modules in areas such as investigating travel and tourism, marketing in travel and tourism, customer service, the UK as a destination, visitor attractions and the cruise industry to prepare them for their future careers.
Viv Danby, Travel and Tourism course tutor at Sunderland College said: “This is a great opportunity for students to gain realistic experience of working in the travel and tourism industry, whilst expanding their curriculum knowledge.
“We have a great relationship with regional employers, which means we can offer key placements to our students, ensuring they get the practical experience they need to secure a job when they finish the course.
“We encourage our students to be savvy and use the opportunity to network and research actual job and career opportunities, and four of last year’s graduates are now working at Hays Travel Agency, proving how successful the placements can be.”
To find out more about the courses and to enrol, or if you’re an employer who would like to get involved, for full details visit www.sunderlandcollege.ac.uk or call 0191 511 6000.
Photo caption: (L-R) Rebecca Wilson, Alex Neild, Megan Teasdale and Josh Wilde.