LEARNING ON THE FRONT LINE; College Sets Up Its Own Travel Agency to Give Students Experience

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDA RICHARDS

IT MAY be cold outside but these Tyneside students have brought some much needed sunshine to the region.

Gateshead College's Baltic Campus has launched its own travel agency aimed at helping students get hands-on experience of the industry.

BQ Travel is an agency with a difference, offering travel and tourism and business administration students the chance to experience a real working environment.

College staff and students, as well as the general public and businesses can snap up deals from weekend breaks, family holidays and cruises, to all inclusive holidays, flights, spa breaks and corporate travel.

Helen Sykes, from Dunston, Gateshead, will manage BQ Travel. She comes to the college from Hays Travel and has been in the travel industry for more than 34 years.

It's always been her ambition to work in training and the role is a return to the college for Helen who studied towards her teacher training qualifications at the college's former Durham Road campus in 1999.

She said: "BQ Travel will operate as a professional travel agency allowing leisure and business travellers to book worldwide trips.

"We'll also be able to offer Gateshead College students a unique experience to gain the skills needed to work in the travel industry.

"I'm really excited about taking this new post as I'll not only be doing the job I love but be involved in the training side too. …