It’s not surprising that the travel industry employs lots of young people. It’s an exciting, fast moving industry that readily adopts new technologies and new ideas. And it gives those working in it the chance to travel. What more could you ask for?
For any customers that come into contact with those young people, be they flight attendants, hotel reception staff or tour reps, it’s clear that they love their jobs and enjoy what they do. (Unless it’s at the end of a very long season or they’ve had a very heavy night the night before, in which case their enthusiasm can be seen to be dwindling!)
But leaving aside inter-personal skills and the mandatory social media skills, what other skills do these young people feel they need to succeed in their jobs?
The results of a major new online survey recently carried out amongst 16-25 year olds might provide the answers. 8,700 young people were asked the question, ‘what do you think are the top five most important skills you will need to have to have a successful career?’
Of the top five, ‘time management’ came out at # 1 with a whopping 45%, closely followed by ’verbal communication’ (44%) and ‘co-ordinating with others’ (39%). ‘Critical thinking’ came in fourth (37%) with ‘related technical skills’ in at no 5 (35%).
Now we at Explorer were intrigued by these results. Call us cynical, but time management is definitely not something we’d associate with young people. But perhaps, on reflection, it’s something they feel they need the most help in? (As in, how to set an alarm clock and get to work on time).
Thinking positively, it’s encouraging that young people attach so much importance to this particular skill. Or at least recognise its importance in a work environment.
What’s slightly worrying however, is the skills that they attach the least importance to, ie, the five least selected skills. Trailing in last was ‘mathematical reasoning’ (35%), followed by ‘written expression’ (14%), then ‘ICT literacy’ (13%), ‘reading comprehension’ (13%) and ‘turning non-visual data into visuals’ (10%).
Perhaps the ready availability of mobile phones, tablets and laptops – all with built in calculators – makes the mathematical reasoning skill less necessary? And with their preference for social media platforms such as Facebook, twitter and whatsapp, over emails and letters, then written expression skills can be largely limited to picking the right emoji.
So there you have it. The good news is, when being served by a young person whilst on your travels, they’ll be there on time and will be able to chat to you in a pleasant way, all the while working with their colleagues in a highly collaborative way. The less good news is don’t ask them to send you a long email and always check your change.