Students Get their Careers in Flight with Co-op Travel

Students Get their Careers in Flight with Co-op Travel

L-R: Nichola Hodgkins, Colleague Knowledge and Skills Manager at Co-operative Travel, and former Walsall College students, Natalia Szarafinska, 19 and Denisa Dubovecka, 20

Walsall College Travel and Tourism students have got their careers off to a flying start after landing jobs with Co-operative Travel, the largest independent travel agent in the UK.

Four Level 3 students who achieved their qualifications in August are now working as Travel Consultants at the agency’s regional branches.

Last year all Travel and Tourism students complemented their studies by successfully completing customer service and sales training and work experience with the firm.

Students, Shannon Dewis age, 20, Oliver Maye, 18, Lauren Burgess, 20, Denisa Dubovecka, 20 and Natalia Szarafinska, 19, were offered jobs after impressing bosses during their work placements.

While on work experience students were tasked with costing holidays, face-to-face customer advice and sales, handling telephone enquiries and updating window displays.

Nichola Hodgkins, Colleague Knowledge and Skills Manager at Co-operative Travel said: “It was very impressive how much industry knowledge the students already had, but then they surpassed our expectations even further with their enthusiasm, proactive attitudes and adept communication skills.

“They also had a very friendly yet professional manner when dealing with customers, which fits in with our brand ethos so we are pleased to have them on board our team permanently.”

Work Experience Coordinator at Walsall College, Jaswant Sembhi, commented: “We are delighted that the partnership we established with Co-operative Travel last year has resulted in students gaining permanent employment with the agent.

“The college is committed to ensuring that students on all of our vocational courses graduate with the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for, and one of the ways we do this is by working closely with employers to ensure we are meeting their needs.

“After the success of this project, current students have also recently received the industry training and will have the chance to complete work experience placements in the New Year to help improve their own employment prospects.”

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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