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A Btec in Tourism & Leisure – this will make you despair

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 28 April 2013

On our last night we stayed in a hotel in a village near the airport on Zakynthos. Also staying in the hotel was a group of two teachers and 11 students who were studying for a Btec in Tourism and Leisure. I shall not name where they study as they were a really nice bunch and are, as it happens on the same plan as us heading back to the UK and as I am writing this I’d rather not cross them. Anyway a Btec is a vocational equivalent of an A-level. And as part of this course the students have to arrange, plan and book a holiday. And they go on it with their teachers. And everyone goes out and gets pissed for four nights and then goes home. And then you get a credit for having achieved this daunting feat.

It strikes me that this is not a terribly good use of taxpayer’s money.  And that the group of eleven students might just be better of going straight into the jobs market. This course seems to me to be merely delaying hard work, having to do a real course to get A-levels so you can go to University or unemployment. Because I actually liked the teachers I asked if they track what their students go on to do. If 50% go on to have meaningful careers in tourism and leisure (and that does not been trolley dolly or working in a bar at Lagunas Beach) then I was prepared to eat my words.

But no, there is no tracking. And so the grateful taxpayer continues to fund courses where being able to get on the right aeroplane earns you a credit with zero evidence that it delivers any economic gain at all. Another “I give up” moment.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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