Travel Academy Accelerates New Talent Acquisition For Munro’s Travel

Overshadowed by the devasting impact of the Covid pandemic, the start of this decade has proved extraordinarily tough for the business and leisure travel industry.

Almost overnight, national and global travel closed its doors, and physical offices morphed into virtual hubs as the world embraced homeworking.

The sector also experienced a ‘talent drain’ as experienced staff moved on and new employee recruitment was curtailed.

Fast-forward to 2023, and with society – and our skies and travel routes – now fully open, the business travel sector has quickly adapted to a new ‘normal’.

In a recent report commissioned by the Business Travel Association (BTA), the business travel sector is now worth almost £30 billion a year to the UK economy and supported just shy of 300,000 jobs in 2022 alone. And, despite increased costs of air travel and accommodation, signs are that demand for business travel is also on the rise, with the global business travel market expected to grow by 188% by 2028.

Inevitably, there are still some difficulties that the business travel sector is working hard to address. And this includes the immediate challenges of recruiting the staff needed to not only fill the gaps left by the pandemic but also to accommodate rising customer demand.

The answer, says the BTA, is for the sector to ‘accelerate new talent recruitment’  while continuing to nurture the experience that already exists in the business travel workforce.

Turning the tide on staff shortages through creative recruitment is vital to taking business travel forward. And this is particularly relevant to niche business travel services, such as for the oil, gas, energy and marine sectors, that have often relied on more local employment.

Aberdeen-based Munro’s Travel, which works exclusively with the global energy and maritime sector arranging travel for oil rigs, renewables and ship crews, is one such company tackling the recruitment issue head-on.

Driven by the need to meet an increased demand in its essential workers travel management services, Munro’s Travel is also looking to invest in its future. And that means getting proactive in training its own ‘future talent’ while enticing back and retaining experienced personnel.

The company’s Head of Business Travel, Cheryl Henderson, said it was essential to strike the right balance when it came to sustainable recruitment and retention.

“Having the ability to give our clients and travellers an impeccable service means we need hardworking, experienced consultants that know their job and understand our client requirements to a tee,” Cheryl explains.

“However, nurturing fresh new talent with a passion for learning the travel industry is also critical. This means we always need to ensure we are recruiting both experienced and inexperienced travel consultants with the correct ratio to allow Munro’s to continue growing.”

When it comes to new talent recruitment, the UK’s business travel sector has recently experienced a setback following the news that work-based programme provider, City & Guilds, is to scrap its Aviation, Travel and Tourism qualifications from December this year. The potential knock-on effects of this decision, says the BTA, could be felt in the quality of professional knowledge and face-to-face client interactions that are so valued by business travel customers.

However, Munro’s Travel is already uniquely placed to respond to their clients’ expectations. Since 2010, the company has had its own in-house training academy, which, says Cheryl, is proving to be essential to take the company forward post-pandemic.

“Since the pandemic, the biggest challenge for Munro’s has been recruiting staff locally. As we specialise in oil, gas and renewables, we find that people from Aberdeen, long described as the oil capital of Europe, understand the sector or at least know people who do this type of travel.

“Homeworking has offered us the ability to expand our recruiting UK-wide, but when it comes to bringing on new talent, we would also like to keep it local.”

In May 2022, Munro’s training academy welcomed its first intake following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. After a year of classroom and desk training, the most recent cohort of students have recently graduated as business travel consultants and are working as part of the Munro Travel team. Meanwhile, more students at Munro’s Travel Academy are currently halfway through its 2023 training course.

Cheryl is now working to nurture relationships with local education providers and has recently presented to travel and tourism students at Aberdeen College to promote the Munro’s Travel Academy. She sees this proactive approach to recruitment for the sector essential when it comes to raising the profile of business travel as a fulfilling career.

“I certainly feel Munro’s is in a strong position, having run our Travel Academy since 2010. Our Travel Academy has gone from strength to strength with new developments and material being added each year to ensure we are training the most up-to-date and relevant information to our students. Our biggest goal now is to get our Travel Academy material accredited through CPD Certification Service which we are working hard to achieve.

“City and Guilds scrapping aviation, travel and tourism qualifications from the end of the year could mean that the pool of new professionals coming into this industry becomes even smaller. I hope that with the hard work and determination Munro’s Travel continues to provide in promoting this industry, we can remain relevant to local students looking for a career in business travel within Aberdeen.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more