A NEW tourism academy has opened after a city college joined forces with a travel company.
Sunderland College has teamed up with the UK’s largest independent travel agent, Hays Travel, to open a new training academy for travel and tourism students.
Hays Travel Academy will provide training and hands-on experience for students.
John Hays, the founder and managing director of the firm, officially opened the academy this week at the Hylton Campus.
He said: “It’s really great to see so many young people interested in studying and working in the travel industry. The thing I love about travel is that it’s constantly changing and it’s really exciting to work in.
“It’s been 35 years since the first Hays Travel branch opened and although times are very different, it’s encouraging to see the travel industry’s still as vibrant as ever.”
Hays Travel Academy will give students the chance to develop their skills and employability. They will be able to do work placements at a variety of Hays Travel branches and will have the chance to apply for apprenticeship role within the company.
Mr Hays added: “I’m pleased to be launching the Hays Travel Academy at Sunderland College. It’s vital for the young people of the North East to be given real and relevant employment opportunities. Through this partnership, the students will receive top quality, industry standard training and direct experience of what it’s like to work in the industry.”
Anne Isherwood, Principal at Sunderland College, said: “This joint venture guarantees our students will receive outstanding on-the-job training and could lead to employment opportunities with a leading national travel agency.”
Sunderland College and Hays Travel have collaborated on previous projects, including the college’s long-running and successful travel agency, Citysun Travel, which is part of Hays Travel Independence Group.
Sue Hogarth, curriculum leader for travel and tourism at the college, said: “The relationship between Sunderland College and Hays Travel is long standing and we are delighted to open Hays Travel Academy which will complement this partnership.
“We have always been well supported by Hays Travel and our new academy will offer our students a greater range of opportunities as they look to launch their career in this vibrant and dynamic industry.
“The Hays Travel Academy will be located at the college’s Hylton Campus until 2016, when all of our travel and tourism courses will relocate to our £29million flagship City Campus.
“The new campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities including an expanded travel agency and mock aircraft cabin, which will ensure our travel and tourism students’ learning environment is second to none.”