A partnership programme between Derby College Group (DCG) and a leading business travel and events company has so far led to nine Travel and Tourism students securing full time jobs there.
Capita Travel and Events, whose head office is in Derby, has worked with DCG for the past four years under the college’s innovative Employer Academy programme to better prepare students for the world of work.
Capita Travel and Events employs 241 people in Derby and 725 at offices across the UK. The company works with a wide range of business clients – handling their travel, accommodation and events’ requirements both in the UK and abroad.
Keen to raise the profile of career opportunities in business travel, they hold information days, set special projects and offer work experience for all Travel and Tourism students who are based at the Roundhouse Technical and Professional Skills college.
Students are also invited to Capita’s assessment days at the end of their study programmes with the opportunity apply for full time jobs.
Capita Head of Talent Gareth Gilleeney explained: “We originally started working with Derby College to raise awareness of the business travel industry amongst staff and students and to create a talent pipeline for our company.
“This has developed over the years so we have the opportunity to influence the curriculum to reflect our business sector.
“We also have a busy programme for the students that broadens their horizons beyond their initial thoughts that there are only jobs available in leisure travel and tourism.
“The Employer Academy programme has been very successful with several students joining our team here at the head office in Derby.
“Having worked with us whilst at college, we find that the former students are far more committed, skilled and progress far quicker than if they had come to us straight from school for example.”
Among the latest recruits is Ella Handley (19) from Derby. The former Noel Baker School pupil enrolled at the Roundhouse college with her sights originally set on a career as airline cabin crew.
“I came on the work placement and knew immediately that business travel was what I wanted to do. I work as a conference consultant and love the job.
“I would never have known about these opportunities if it wasn’t for the college working with Capita so this has really opened new doors for me.”
Paige Malt (23) from Ripley was one of the first DCG students to join Capita. She originally started as an apprentice and has progressed quickly now working in conference and events.
“This is a fantastic place to work and there are so many perks including familiarisation trips to see potential venues for our clients all over the world. I have so far been to Switzerland and am going to Las Vegas in December.”
Molly Taberner (21) from Derby has already been promoted to the multi-skilled role of business travel consultant and enjoys the challenge.
“There are so many different aspects to the job and opportunities to progress so I am so pleased that I opted to do Travel and Tourism at college.
“The focus was always on career opportunities and the behaviour and attitudes that we needed for the workplace so I felt much better prepared for working life after college.”
April Hayhurst, Derby College’s Deputy Principal – Employer and Economic Affairs, concluded: “The Travel and Tourism Academy at the Roundhouse operates very high standards. They have excellent success rates and learners progress into a wide range of careers.
“Our partnership with Capita shows that, by working with a prestigious and successful company such as this, we can better prepare our students for the world of work and create a talent pipeline for employers.
“Work placements, which will be a vital part of the T-levels in the future, particularly help students with their course work and develop their communication skills.
“It also embeds the attitudes and behaviour that is required in the workplace which is something that employers tell us that they want to see in their new recruits.”