The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) is supporting future talent in the meetings industry with the launch of its HBAA National Placement Scheme for undergraduates. The association hopes to place 20 students on the year-long programme in the first year.
The initiative, first announced at the HBAA annual dinner last month, although launched this month, is championed by the association’s incoming Chairman, Chris Peacock, who says it reinforces the association’s premise to drive professionalism within the sector.
The HBAA National Placement Scheme comes into effect immediately and is supported by leading universities offering event management related degrees.
Peacock told CN he intended to run an active year as Chairman and that the placement scheme was one of several initiatives he would be launching. “We would like to encourage tomorrow’s leaders into our industry.”
He said feedback from the HBAA membership supported the adoption of the scheme across lead hotel booking agents, venues and independent and hotel chains alike.
“When my company, Conference Care, was looking to bring on a graduate we found the calibre of the postgraduate students unsurpassed,” says Peacock. “We went on to speak to the careers services at the universities to understand the industrial placement process and saw that there was a need for a standard approach by an association such as the HBAA.”
The HBAA scheme will offer each student a full year certified industrial placement along with the benefit of the association’s programme of events.
All placement providers are required to sign up to an HBAA code of practice to take part in the new scheme which will culminate with a project based competition to find the HBAA Student of the Year.
Manchester Metropolitan, Leeds Metropolitan, Hertfordshire, Coventry, Plymouth and London Metropolitan Universities are all backing the initiative.
“We are delighted to continue to support the industry and drive the fight for future talent. We anticipate up to 20 students in the first year and look forward to increasing this as we progress.”
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