This Blackpool firm specialising in educational travel has jobs going as it bounces back from the pandemic lockdowns

A Blackpool educational travel firm has weathered the pandemic storm and is eyeing growth with a recruitment drive.

By Tim Gavell
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 12:30 pm

Next Generation Travel, has seen demand bounce back from when all school trips were cancelled during the lockdowns, and is seeking to recruit new members of staff in a number of roles in customer service and support teams in all of its UK office locations.

The move follows what it said was a challenging time for the school travel industry, which had seen some competitors fail.

Following the easing of pandemic travel restrictions, NGT said it had seen a significant increase in interest from teachers and group leaders eager to book overseas school tours again.

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During the pandemic, NGT invested in the wellbeing of employees as the business recognised the stress facing all staff, whether working or on furlough.

This focus was rewarded in December 2021, when NGT received the Investors in People Gold Award and again passed the industry’s annual Customer Service Excellence assessment last year.

The focus on the wellbeing of employees included keeping in touch initiatives throughout the pandemic and wellbeing MOTs to all staff to ease the transition back to in office working.

The firm organises education trips for school abroad to places such as Barcelona

This included access to 1:1 counselling support and a full programme of training and refresher courses.

All staff were provided with access to 24/7 on-line support through a Health Assured app and the focus on healthy work/life relationships is an ongoing provision as working conditions have resumed.

Sian Belfield, people and customer experience director, said: “We’ve placed great emphasis on ensuring that our team has felt valued and supported throughout the last two years. We recognise how important our staff have always been to the ongoing development of the culture and growth of the business and it’s their talent and experience which enables us to deliver exceptional service to our customers.

“NGT is the only educational travel company to hold IIP Gold and the CSE accreditation and to achieve these during a pandemic was amazing!

"As one of our commitments to growth, we delivered a company-wide rebrand during the pandemic, which brought our specialist brands and teams together under the banner of Next Generation Travel Group.

“To support our customers both present and future, we developed a Covid Promise so that they could plan and book their tour with confidence, knowing that their money was safe and travel plans would be handled with our full support.

"We were one of the first companies in educational travel to do this.

“We also introduced our new Covid insurance policy for all new bookings. This was a case of changing insurance providers to ensure we got the most supportive policy that backed by the School Travel Forum.

“Because we appreciate how difficult it has been for schools and young people during the pandemic, we are supporting wellbeing initiatives in schools and colleges and have partnered with Character First – an organisation that delivers a range of wellbeing activities in schools and colleges. Organisations booking four or more tours with us will receive a subscription to a Character First wellbeing package worth £1,000.

“We are now a Disability Confident Committed Employer, which means we have committed to ensuring our recruitment process is inclusive and accessible, communicating and promoting vacancies offering an interview to disabled people who meet the minimum criteria for the job, anticipating and providing reasonable adjustments as required and supporting any existing employee who acquires a disability or long term health condition, enabling them to stay in work at least one activity that will make a difference for disabled people.

“The best news is that many of our tours that were postponed in 2020 and 2021 have finally managed to go and are travelling out this year around the UK, Europe and beyond.

"Our group leaders have been so positive and worked so hard with us to make sure their young people could travel again and we are now securing lots of bookings for the next academic year with destinations ranging spanning the UK, Europe, USA and parts of Africa.”