From education to employment

Successful apprentices from the travel industry announced as finalists in Travel Awards

Despite the number of apprenticeships in UK falling by over 125,200 places in the past year, the travel industry is still producing talented individuals that are rising to the top of their game from apprenticeship schemes.

Even with the fall in available places, there has been a higher number of women starting apprenticeships than men every year since 2011 and these individuals are going on to have long and fulfilling careers within the industry.

The 2018 IBM iX everywoman in Travel Awards which is taking place next week, has announced two finalists who are successful case studies of apprenticeships from within the travel industry – Hannah Fairley, Apprentice Travel Sales Consultant, Thomas Cook and Sydney Howard, Apprentice Business Travel Consultant, Clarity.

Everywoman is keen to support and recognise the outstanding young individuals who have come through apprenticeships or other training schemes, with its ‘One to Watch’ award. This is awarded to a woman for being a young game-changer under the age of 21 who is demonstrating a passion for the travel industry.

The awards programme was launched to share the success stories of exceptional businesswomen reshaping travel and this year’s finalists were chosen by the most discerning leaders in travel, including Chris Browne OBE, COO at easyJet; Jackie Wybrow, Senior Director at TripAdvisor; and Jo Rzymowska, Vice President at Celebrity Cruises. 

Hannah Fairley, Apprentice Travel Sales Consultant, Thomas Cook UK.

With research showing that confidence is one of the most common limitations on women’s progress at work,  Hannah could easily have succumbed to a lack of confidence.

However, slowly and surely she has overcome crippling shyness and flourished in her role as an apprentice travel sales consultant for Thomas Cook in Edinburgh.  Consistently exceeding performance expectations, Hannah’s career to date has ranged from holiday sales to ancillary products such as Forex, car hire, lounges and excursions.  

Hannah excels at customer service and is a master of turning a negative into a positive, as she did when a distressed customer was accidentally booked into Las Palmas, Gran Canaria instead of Palma, Majorca.  

Convincing the client that Gran Canaria was a better option for their travel dates, she secured a better quality of hotel for the same price and the delighted customer has since rebooked.  Her enterprising nature extends to digital marketing where her initiatives have resulted in 30% increased bookings. 

Sydney Howard, Apprentice Business Travel Consultant, Clarity

Sydney is the epitome of One to Watch. She joined Clarity shortly after her 18th birthday and despite being at the very start of her career in business travel, she is already promoting the various opportunities in the travel industry to other young women.

At work, she took it upon herself to research the most popular business destinations and produce factsheets to enable her colleagues to provide a much higher standard of service to clients.

This was so well received by both the Business Travel Consultant and the Account Managers that it is now being implemented as an initiative in Clarity’s overall marketing strategy.

In her relatively short tenure, she has received numerous internal and external accolades including “Student of the Month” out of over 1,700 apprentices nationwide and the Above and Beyond award, which she won three times in 2017, making her one of the highest performing consultants in the business.  

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