Eighteen year old Lewis Barbour from Greenock has shown that hard work, determination and focus can set anyone on course for their dream career, after landing himself a Modern Apprenticeship with one of the Scotland’s top online travel agents – Barrhead Travel.

Lewis explained, ‘I had initially applied for the Cabin Crew course when I left school, but I was encouraged to consider the NC International Travel with Airport Ground Operations course.

I’ve always wanted to work within travel, as it’s such a diverse area. Most importantly, there are lots of job opportunities out there!’

The access course, which has successfully ran from the Greenock campus for over 5 years provides an insight into the Travel & Tourism industry with options to seek employment or progress to higher study such as the HNC Travel & Tourism.

Lewis’s employment success is testament that the course can open doors to employment; he was able to secure employment less than 2 weeks after his course had officially finished.

Lewis said, ‘I wanted to get a job as soon as I finished college. I saw that Barrhead Travel was recruiting for a Modern Apprenticeship and it really appealed to me – you gain experience whilst earning a wage.  

I had to go in for a group interview which was quite daunting, but the NC had prepared me with valuable essential skills to make sure I kept my cool - the Travel Agency Practice and Customer Service Skills units within my course really helped.

So far, I’ve been shadowing other members of staff in the branch. Barrhead Travel have been immersing me in as much as they can, and I know I’m going to learn a lot in my apprenticeship. The team have been very welcoming and it seems to be a very progressive company.

Rose-Anne Gage, Branch Manager in Barrhead Travel in Greenock said, ‘As a company we are committed to take on Modern Apprentices, and as a store we have recruited 2 this year. Training is delivered by our own in-store training team, which means training and learning is focused on the company and on the specific skills that are relevant to the job.’

Beverley Hardie, Course lecturer said, ‘We’ve had a great deal of success stories from the department and we wish Lewis all the best in his future endeavours. The NC course is the perfect course for those who want an introduction to a range of careers from travel agents, airline reservations, to resort representatives with an emphasis on Airport Ground Operations. We are very pleased that the airport ground operations part of the course focuses on working at an airport as check-in staff and has direct links to employment at Glasgow airport.’

Lewis acknowledges that he is still in the early stages of his career, but is a firm believer that focus and determination (and a good qualification!) will take anyone where they need to go.

‘You need to go out and live your dream and if you want a career in travel, this is the perfect starting point. I couldn’t have secured this apprenticeship if it wasn’t for the qualification and support I received from West College Scotland.’

For more information on how the NC International Travel with Airport Ground Operations can take YOU places click here or call 0300 600 60 60.