Northumberland College's Kirkley Hall Campus, based just outside of Ponteland, became home to the college's Travel and Tourism Academy last year in a move that meant learners now have access to commercial operations at the campus that includes work experience within Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, weddings, conferences and its Outdoor Activity Centre.
From September 2017 the college's Travel and Tourism Academy will offer the City and Guilds Level 3 Extended Diploma along with a Level 2 Diploma in Aviation and a Certificate in Airline Cabin Crew.
The new Level 3 Extended Diploma is equivalent to three 3 A Levels and will run over two years, offering students greater experience through modules that incorporate developing people in travel and tourism, principles of marketing for travel and tourism, special interest holiday and independent travel, tourist destinations, planning and delivering guided tours, foreign exchange and overseas representative.
On successful completion of the Level 3 course, students will have improved progression opportunities to university or employment in roles such as tourist information centre assistant, travel agents and tour guide or holiday representative.
Simon Chalk, Head of the Travel and Tourism Academy at Northumberland College, said: "Our move to the Kirkley Hall campus has been great for learners. A key module is visitor attractions, so having access to the facilities here provides crucial work experience and the introduction of these new qualifications will mean students can broaden their career paths within the industry."
Those who study Travel and Tourism with Northumberland College in September will continue to visit many other leading tourist attractions to develop hands-on skills and work experience, benefit from training in the college's cabin room, which replicates the inside of a passenger aircraft and provides a realistic learning environment for cabin crew trainees.
Danielle Miller, Lecturer in Travel and Tourism at Northumberland College said: "Students have the opportunity to take part in a range of trips that give a real feel for the industry and include visits to destinations such as Disneyland Paris and Berlin Christmas Markets, as well as visits to London for British Airways Safety and Emergency Training and Newcastle Airport for Aviation modules."
Danielle, who previously worked for Qatar Airways, based in Doha and has travelled extensively, adds: "Taking part in a cabin crew course prepares our learners for the real working environment. We follow a point system that's similar to that of most airlines during cabin crew training. All of the team bring industry experience and we aim to prepare our students for the workplace."
Further developments see a new focus on rural tourism within Northumberland Career College for learners aged 14 to 19.
Simon adds: "The tourism and visitor economy is thriving, accounting for almost one in five jobs in the UK. It is predicted the sector will need to recruit a further 843,000 staff by 2020. In Northumberland, tourism is the fastest growing industry. We have aligned the college to ensure that students benefit from New Job opportunities emerging in Tourism; working with key partners across the county. This has shown real impact in the development of our new Career College."
Northumberland College has invested over £10m across its campuses in recent years and recently received praise from Ofsted in its latest inspection.
Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens opened in 2011 and over the past three years has expanded and is now home to over 200 species, which include Ring Tailed Lemurs and the attraction now welcomes over 70,000 visitors per year.
Those wishing to study travel and tourism at Northumberland College should call 01670 841 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or attend an enrolment session from 14 August.