CHESTER travel company International Travel Connection (ITC) has set up its own training academy for potential staff.
The academy was the idea of Drew Foster, the founder of Caribbean Connection, which later became ITC, who died last autumn.
Now the firm’s CEO, Jennifer Atkinson, and HR manager Paula Hodkinson have brought that dream to reality.
The company, based in Canal Street, has started the training academy with two local studentsŠ joining as trainees for 12 months.
They will spend time working in each of the key departments at ITC learning about the company and the travel business.Š They will also be required to do a certain amount of self-learning, including attending supplier events, online training courses and researching their product knowledge.
ITC is very keen to grow its own talent and work with local colleges and universities to give the opportunity to students who want to make their career in travel, starting at the bottom and learning with hands-on work experience.
When a suitable vacancy arises, ITC will look to recruit from within its academy.Š The vacancy in the academy will then be filled on a rolling basis with another local student.
Students from the University of Chester, West Cheshire College and Knowsley College were invited to attend a presentation about the academy given by ITC CEO Jennifer Atkinson and subsequently eight students were invited for interview and assessment. The shortlisted candidates were asked to give a presentation on their favourite holiday destination.
The first students to join the academy are Jennifer Carter of Dodleston, who gained a first class honours degree in tourism management from the University of Chester, and Chloe Jones, 18, of Ellesmere Port, who studied travel and tourism at West Cheshire College.
Philippa Hardie, careers adviser at Chester University, said: “We set up a visit to ITC by our final year tourism students.
“Interested students were then invited to submit their CVs to ITC.”