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SBSJ Learning for Life Project
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 May 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

here are approximately 139,200 individual hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism business enterprises in the UK. This sector has the lowest labour productivity of any sector in the UK economy. Figures have suggested the sector lags behind the United States, France and Germany. The sector employs over two million people. However, England has the greatest share of the sector’s workforce (83%). This sector employs a young workforce with 13% of staff aged 16-19 and a further 18% aged 20-24. In the various core occupations of the industry such as kitchen assistance, chefs , hotel managers, travel guides to name a few there is a skills shortage.17 % of the sector establishments report having vacancies, 22 % of which are hard to fill. 66 % of these vacancies are hard-to-fill because applicants lack the required skills. 50 % of employers report that applicants lack customer handling skills, 47% say team working skills are lacking, 43% oral communication skills and 39 % believe applicants lack problem solving skills. Labour turnover for the whole sector stands at around 31%.Based on average expenditure on recruitment and initial training this costs the sector around £33.4m per year .11 % of the workforce do not hold any qualifications, 7% of hotel and accommodation managers and 7% of restaurant managers have no qualifications at all. At the skilled trade level, 10% of chefs have no qualifications. 26 % of businesses in the sector report they have staff who are not fully proficient to meet the needs of their business. Employers most commonly offer informal training to their staff with introductory/induction training also frequently available. Large operators are much more likely to provide training. Training is infrequent and not consistent. This project will help potential employers with preparation of the future workforce training. A residential study visit is often the highlight of the course for learners. It presents them with the opportunity to study travel and tourism outside the classroom in a real-life situation. Working and learning within a hotel organisation will give the students the skills they need to prepare them for employment in the travel and tourism industry. As well as giving students the chance to experience the subject first hand and to build on knowledge gained during delivery of other units, it promotes team building and independent living. For some students, this may be their first experience of traveling without their family or close friends, especially as the study visit will take place outside the UK. The work experience unit is linked closely to the student’s programme of study and as such incorporates ECVET and Europass learning principles. The number of students this project will impact on will be a total of 45. Students will identify roles, duties and responsibilities of different categories of holiday representatives-Social skills e.g. creating rapport, providing a welcome; and providing a helpful and friendly service. They will demonstrate Customer service skills e.g. meeting customer needs, dealing with queries, providing information for handling complaints and finding solutions. They will communicate with groups and individuals e.g.. using visual aids and body language. Other situations that students will be part of include: handling complaints e.g. over-bookings, standard of accommodation etc. All the information will be collected with the aid of a personal Logbook that students will have and also it will form part of their Europass Mobility record of achievement and ECVET. Finally, learners will undertake an evaluation of the success of the study visit including their own contribution and present to the school and their peers. This information will then be disseminated to all staff and to the wider district via the Local Education Authority. The impact of this project will mean that students will acquire the necessary skills needed to work in the travel industry and thus close the skills gap the industry current has. It will give them the training and knowledge to become an effective employee and team player in a business organisation. Furthermore, the experience will be accredited which means the students will have a qualification that not only recognizes their experience but also the new found skills gained . This then will enable students to progress onto the career path and reduce the unemployment rate amongst young people today in areas where jobs are hard to fill and difficult to staff.
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