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17th May 2022

Partner Insight: The Next Tourism Generation

The Next Tourism Generation (NTG) Wales Team, led by Dr Sheena Carlisle of Cardiff Metropolitan University, will attend the Wales Tourism Alliance event at the Senedd on May 18th during Wales Tourism Week to showcase the NTG project outputs

Developing a resilient tourism and hospitality skilled workforce in Wales is vital following 2 years of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2018, the visitor economy provided £6.3 billion of visitor spending which generated £3 billion (6%) in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Welsh economy.

Before the pandemic hit the news, Dr Sheena Carlisle secured a 4 million Euro Erasmus + project, The Next Tourism Generation (NTG) Alliance, with a Consortia of 14 partners including 7 tourism trade associations, 6 tourism education universities, and 1 major tourism lecturer and student network to respond to digital and sustainability skills gaps. The project published its desk research in 2019 and its primary research findings on Sustainability Skills Gaps in Wales in 2021.  When writing the bid in 2017 the pan-European NTG partners were unaware their project outputs would help support the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector after a global pandemic.

In the event, COVID-19 helped maximise the delivery and use of the  NTG website – which hosts case studies, blogs, and research developed to engage employees, employers, and trainers in tourism sub-sectors (including Tour Operators and Travel Agents, Visitor Attractions, Destination Management, Accommodation Providers, and F&B Operations), teachers and students within FE and HE.  Whereas the Quality Skills Standards Frameworks help government and quality assurance agencies map the education landscape for updating skills.

The NTG Wales team delivered quality management and innovation on all NTG outputs to improve collaborative and productive partnerships between tourism education providers and the industry.  The NTG Wales team worked closely with Visit Wales, Regional Skills Partnerships (RSPs), FE colleges and universities, the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA), and other tourism trade associations across Wales to gather key insight and knowledge of tourism skills challenges as well as test and pilot the NTG projects outputs.

A key output from NTG is the NTG Tourism Sector Toolkit, which provides a comprehensive set of resources including: green, social, and digital training content, lesson plans, skills mapping templates and occupational profiles for education and training providers.

The NTG skills mapping templates, a key element of the NTG toolkit and NTG Skills Matrix have already been put into practice by Qualifications Wales (QW), the qualifications assurance agency and regulator in Wales for schools, colleges and private training providers.  The QW Tourism and Hospitality Qualifications Audit 2019-2022 utilised the NTG mapping templates so that future skills were mapped against the content of the current qualifications to better understand how these qualifications were preparing learners for future work and employment in this sector. QW will continue to refer to the future skills mapping templates as they synthesise their audit’s findings and recommendations due to be published in early 2023 after a draft report in August 2022.

The NTG Alliance will host the final NTG conference on June 9th Sectoral skills development in digital, green and social skills sets–   to register The Next Tourism Generation: the transition of green, digital and social skills development – NTG

The NTG Alliance has secured another 4 years of Erasmus + funding to support the new European Pact 4 Skills Strategy for Tourism. Due to Brexit, Cardiff Metropolitan University was unable to be part of this bid. Dr Sheena Carlisle is currently identifying opportunities with pan-Wales stakeholders to build on the NTG outputs and maximise the use of the tools developed on the NTG project, which align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Well Being of Future Generations Act.  This can strengthen the future tourism and hospitality workforce in Wales, a key stakeholder in the Foundation Economy, and support regeneration and employment across Wales.

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