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People 1st and GoSkills merge for unified hospitality and travel training

By Lorraine Heller , 05-Jul-2011

The hospitality skills council People 1st has merged with the transport and travel skills council GoSkills in a move designed to streamline customer service training efforts across the sectors.

The two groups first announced their intention to merge at the start of last month , and have since been fielding views and comments from employers in the hospitality, leisure, transport, travel and tourism industries.

According to People 1st, the proposed merger received “overwhelming support” from industry and government alike, prompting the formal merger yesterday.

The move means the two groups can pool their reduced resources and streamline training efforts that can be transferred across sectors.

“I believe that this is the right direction for both organisations in order to best serve the interests of these vibrant and growing sectors,” said Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st.

“Bringing together two large customer-facing bodies in the tourist journey creates an opportunity to really upgrade UK PLC’s customer service and integrated travel experience in advance of the Olympics in 2012 and the string of world-class events that will keep the spotlight on the UK through to the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.”

New structure

The new structure of the sector skills council will comprise two members’ councils each with leading employer representation – one focused on passenger transport, travel and tourism, and the other focused on hospitality and leisure.

People 1st and GoSkills said they will focus on integrating the two groups over the coming months, and assess their joint needs and priorities.

A strategic plan will be developed during the integration period and will also be informed by the outcome of People 1st’s submission for government funds for future plans, said People 1st.

“This is an exciting time for the industry and we will ensure its voice is heard and provide the leadership it deserves. The new body is, for the first time, uniquely placed to deliver a whole and combined sector skills approach to passenger transport, travel and tourism that is closely aligned to hospitality and leisure,” said Wisdom.

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