Sunderland College has joined forces with the UK’s largest independent travel agent to open a new training academy for travel and tourism students.
Hays Travel Academy has been created by Hays Travel and Sunderland College to provide high-quality training and relevant hands-on experience for people who aspire to work in the travel and tourism industry.
John Hays, the founder and managing director of Hays Travel, officially opened the Hays Travel Academy today at Sunderland College’s Hylton Campus, where he met college principal Anne Isherwood, travel and tourism staff, and students to celebrate the launch of the academy.
Mr Hays said: “It’s really great to see so many young people interested in studying and working in the travel industry. The thing I love about travel is that it’s constantly changing and it’s really exciting to work in. It’s been 35 years since the first Hays Travel branch opened and although times are very different, it’s encouraging to see the travel industry’s still as vibrant as ever.”
Hays Travel Academy will offer a range of unique opportunities to Sunderland College travel and tourism students to help develop their skills and employability.
Not only will students have the chance to carry out work placements at a variety of Hays Travel branches in the Wearside area, but those who successfully complete the placements will be invited to interview for an apprenticeship role within the company.
The programme of learning within the academy will include masterclasses and workshops from industry experts, and the Hays Travel-endorsed curriculum will include relevant practical and skills training to prepare students for a career in a travel agency.
Mr Hays added: “I’m pleased to be launching the Hays Travel Academy at Sunderland College. It’s vital for the young people of the North East to be given real and relevant employment opportunities. Through this partnership, the students will receive top quality, industry standard training and direct experience of what it’s like to work in the industry.”
Mrs Isherwood said: “We are very honoured to welcome John Hays to our college to officially open the Hays Travel Academy. This joint venture guarantees our students will receive outstanding on-the-job training and could lead to employment opportunities with a leading national travel agency.
“Hays Travel has a deservedly excellent reputation and it is with great pride that we strengthen our partnership further with this Sunderland-based company. We are committed to offering exceptional teaching and practical training to our students, and it is through collaborations with organisations such as Hays Travel that we can provide this high level of education.”
Sunderland College and Hays Travel have collaborated on previous projects, including the college’s long-running and successful travel agency, Citysun Travel, which is part of Hays Travel Independence Group.
The fully ABTA bonded City Sun Travel was launched in 2008 by Mr Hays, and the college’s travel and tourism students gain valuable work experience in the agency as part of their studies.
Sue Hogarth, curriculum leader for travel and tourism, said: “The relationship between Sunderland College and Hays Travel is longstanding, and we are delighted to open Hays Travel Academy which will complement this partnership. We have always been well supported by Hays Travel and our new academy will offer our students a greater range of opportunities as they look to launch their career in this vibrant and dynamic industry.
“The Hays Travel Academy will be located at the college’s Hylton Campus until 2016, when all of our travel and tourism courses will relocate to our £29million flagship City Campus. The new campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities including an expanded travel agency and mock aircraft cabin, which will ensure our travel and tourism students’ learning environment is second to none.”