Data skills apprenticeship scheme extended to include leisure travel firms for the first time.
An apprenticeship scheme aimed at enhancing data skills within the business travel sector is being expanded to include leisure travel firms for the first time. Grant Thornton, a professional services firm, has joined forces with BPP School of Technology and the Business Travel Association (BTA) to establish data skills academies through funded apprenticeship programs.
Earlier this month, a group of 26 employees from BTA members and partners embarked on customised data skills courses, which involved webinars and one-on-one coaching during working hours. In order to extend the reach of these initiatives, leisure travel data academies will be launched in late November (2023). Grant Thornton has scheduled briefing sessions in July, August, and September to provide information to leisure travel companies interested in participating.
Participants in the business travel courses are pursuing a Level 3 Data Citizen qualification over a period of 15 months, which is equivalent to two A-levels. Alternatively, they can opt for a Level 4 Data Analyst qualification, a 21-month program that corresponds to the first year of a degree.
Sue Ledgard, talent solutions consumer industry lead at Grant Thornton, emphasised the significance of addressing the lack of data skills among travel industry professionals. The academies are designed for individuals in various roles who share a common goal of effectively analysing data. Helen Gibson, BPP client solutions director, highlighted the collaborative efforts involved in customising the courses for the business travel sector, incorporating case studies, data sets, industry speakers, and networking opportunities.
Ledgard further stressed the importance of data management and analysis, explaining that proficiency in these areas can dramatically improve efficiency. What used to take days to accomplish can now be completed within hours with the right knowledge and access to suitable systems. The academies cater to individuals across different levels and functions within the travel industry, enabling them to acquire the skills necessary for effective data analysis and informed decision-making.
The programs are specifically tailored to the travel industry, covering a range of businesses such as leisure travel agents, operators, airlines, coach operators, and hotels. Although the types of data used may vary, all content and discussions within the program revolve around travel and holiday-related scenarios.
Helen Turner, BTA member and partnerships manager, emphasised the importance of apprenticeships in addressing the skills gap, especially when organisations lack internal resources to train their employees. These apprenticeship programs have been carefully crafted by industry experts, ensuring their relevance and effectiveness across various sectors.
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