Staff shortages in other sectors, both in the UK and abroad that I’m concerned about e.g. lack of staff that is causing long delays on visa and passport applications, which will have a subsequent knock on effect to our business. The same with border control and rail strikes, if inbound groups believe there is a risk of travel disruption during their trip, they may choose to visit other English speaking countries over the UK, at least in the short term. Travel and tourism is a resilient industry though, I am sure that we’ll find a way to adapt to whatever challenges come our way
Tell us a bit about your role and how it supports the business?
Despite what my colleagues believe my role is not just jetting around the world racking up the air miles!
I head up a team that works with international schools and tour operators to bring students to the UK, typically as part of an educational residential trip. A big aspect of the role is building and maintaining strong relationships to encourage no just consistent business but growth. Other parts of the job include keeping up to date with emerging market trends, managing potential risks and creating a robust sales strategy.
The job allows for both big picture thinking and detail-orientated planning, it’s rare that any two days are the same, which I love.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Take the job, otherwise you’ll end up doing the job without the pay or recognition.
I was offered a big promotion several years ago and was on the fence about whether I had enough experience to accept the job or not, until a colleague gave me some much needed straight talk. I think imposter syndrome is both natural and common but it’s important to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of opportunities.
If you were not working in this sector what other industry would you have pursued a career in?
Growing up I wanted to be a sports psychologist, it’s what I studied at university and I was lucky enough to do some work experience with the GB Rifle Team that went to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. However, you have to enjoy academia as much as the practical application and for me it was always about the interaction with the individual or team. Enough time has passed now that picking up a journal or thinking about thesis topics no longer fills me with dread, so never say never!
What is coming up for your company in the next 12/18 months?
We are launching a variety of new programmes and products that are aimed at both the UK and international market.
A few examples include our Skills4Life programme which is accredited by Skills Builder Partnership, young people will use the outdoors as a vehicle for learning and personal development. Also, we’re delighted to be offering EtonX courses, developed by the experts at Eton College. These online courses will prepare students for the world’s top universities, leadership positions and successful careers in business.
Tell us one thing about your business that others might not already know
That Inspiring Learning is a family of brands: Kingswood, Camp Beaumont, Britannia Coach Services, Skern Lodge, Skern Training & Skills and In2Action.
From award winning residential trips and day camps through to high quality apprenticeship training and bespoke consultancy. We deliver innovative, transformative education for people of all ages and backgrounds.
As an association what one thing do you think we have done that has made a real difference to you as a business?
BETA are great at making the association member focused, they took the time to learn about our business which in turn has led to more meaningful introductions and marketing support.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges, threats and opportunities for youth, student and educational travel in the next few years?
I think staff shortages and strike action is something I’ll be keeping a close eye over the next 12 months. Recruitment was tough last year, but like many other residential providers we’ve been very proactive with our 2023 recruitment and I’m confident with our uptake. It’s shortages in other sectors, both in the UK and abroad that I’m concerned about e.g. lack of staff that is causing long delays on visa and passport applications, which will have a subsequent knock on effect to our business. The same with border control and rail strikes, if inbound groups believe there is a risk of travel disruption during their trip, they may choose to visit other English speaking countries over the UK, at least in the short term. Travel and tourism is a resilient industry though, I am sure that we’ll find a way to adapt to whatever challenges come our way.
Find out more about BETA Member Inspiring learning here
Published 01 February 2023