C &M Travel Recruitment has warned travel’s ongoing talent shortage is ‘massively impacting’ recruitment despite the number of new jobseekers rising to its highest level in five years.
Managing Director Barbara Kolosinska said it would take ‘many more months’ before placement levels returned to historically high levels.
Her warning comes on the day travel and training bodies officially launch The Tourism Skills Group, in response to recent news the Government is planning to remove funding eligibility for Level 3 Travel and Tourism courses after 2025.
If the Government’s plan goes ahead, there will be no funding as of the 2026-27 academic year for dedicated tourism courses at higher and further education levels and students wanting to get into the travel industry will have to take a general business qualification or an apprenticeship.
According to C&M’s latest statistics, the number of job candidates has now reached a level last seen in March 2018.
Although last month’s placements increased by 35% versus February, they fell by 47% against the 10-year high reported in March 2022.
Barbara said: “To see that candidate registrations have reached a five-year high is very, very welcome news.
“But we’re in a strange position because despite there being a big increase in the number of new applicants, we’re still in an extremely candidate-driven market.”
She added: “Ultimately, the sheer scale of the talent shortage that we’ve experienced over the past three years is still massively impacting travel recruitment and it will take many more months before the situation rectifies itself.”
The Tourism Skills Group consists of industry groups and training providers who want to work together to ensure dedicated travel and tourism courses remain funded.
Group member Future You Foundation said: “The news that the Department for Education is planning to defund Level 3 Travel & Tourism qualifications from 2025 is short sighted and damaging to the sector.
“The industry has been largely unaware, until recently, that this was happening and with the growing awareness it is very clear that there is a great deal of concern from both business and education.
“The tourism industry is a major contributor to the UK economy and provides many thousands of people with vibrant, professional and rewarding careers. Students studying travel and tourism, at both FE [Further Education] and HE [Higher Education], provide a vital pipeline of talent that understand the nuances and skills required to succeed in this fast paced and exciting sector.
“On a positive note, Future You has already been in talks with major industry stakeholders and is convening a working group with travel bodies, including ABTA, ATHE [Awards for Training and Higher Education], BTA [Business Travel Association], GTTP [Global Travel and Tourism Partnership], ITT, the Tourism Alliance, UKinbound, as well as FE and HE representatives, to coordinate a collaborative response to the challenges ahead.
Future You Foundation co-founder Claire Steiner told Travel Gossip The Tourism Skills Group will meet at the beginning of May to outline its action plan.
Anyone interested in joining can contact: [email protected]