PEOPLE in West Dunbartonshire are being encouraged to consider a career in the Scottish tourism industry, amid claims employers are ‘crying out’ for staff.

While Covid-19 and Brexit have hit the economy hard, domestic travel is increasing and the demand for skilled workers is high.

West College Scotland has devised a new course in a bid to bridge the gap in workforce.

The ‘Skills in Scottish Tourism’ course will run for the first time in August next year.

Gayle Turnbull, lecturer in travel and tourism at West College Scotland’s Clydebank campus, said: “Students and potential students, and parents of students, have been really put-off taking on tourism courses over the last year due to Covid.

“There’s a big perception that there won’t be suitable jobs at the end but what we’re trying to get across is that the industry is bouncing back, and it will bounce back bigger than ever.

“We’re trying to make students as employment-ready as possible and the Skills in Scottish Tourism course was created in response to employers, who are really struggling to get employees that have the right skills.”

Students who enrol in the course will learn a diverse range of skills from customer care to how the industry is structured, planning itineraries, and learning where tourists visit and looking into developing markets such as activity, wildlife, ancestral and sustainable tourism.

Gayle added: “The Scottish tourism sector is such a fast-growing sector, there’s been a big focus on us travelling in our own country and it’s a much more sustainable way to travel.

“Employers are crying out for staff, there are huge shortages.

“In Scottish tourism at the moment, and hospitality especially, there is a big demand for workers.

“Right now is the best time to study while the industry is bouncing back. We will be adapting the course so students know the relevant skills which are needed after the pandemic.

“The industry is wide-ranging and I think many students don’t realise this.”

The 2.5 days a week course, starting in August 2022, offers students the flexibility to fit their studies around current employment and personal responsibilities.

To find out more, visit westcollege