Delivery in day(s): 5
Diploma in Travel and Tourism
Unit Number and Title
Unit 17 Work Based Experience
According to Cox (2005), work based experience is a kind of learning experience that connects skills and knowledge obtain in the classroom to the outside practical application and comprises range of activities and strategies designed to assists the students for developing their educational goal and plan for their future career path. The current unit 17 work based experience assignment deals with several dimension of work based experience. The researcher has performed a summer internship in Thomas Cook Tourism Company for 2 month and was designated in the position of Trainee Assistant in the travel agent department. Based on this experience, he has tried to include all details about the importance of work-based learning for establishing career in tourism industry
In the globalised business environment, Tourism industry serves as a significant part of the economy. It directly and indirectly provides employment to numerous people (Gibbons and Gray, 2002). Due to the advent of modern technology, the world grown smaller and a greater amount of information are available at every segment throughout the globe. With the alleviation of different reliable method of transportation, tourism activities has been largely appreciated and become increasingly popular day-by-day. Tourism is like when people travelling to places outside their usual environment for recreation, leisure or business purposes. This industry encompasses entertainment, transport services, recreational activities and accommodation (Lindberg, 2012). It also advanced with the application of the modern technologies like book transportation and accommodation online. However, tourism industry highly fluctuates with the economic condition, which results in decrease in industrial profit during the economic recessions.
Establishment of career in tourism industry offers range of settings and diverse roles. The career opportunities in tourism industry includes working in a resort or hotel, as a travel guide writer, as a tour leading activities and historical trips, in an adventures sports centre or as a flight attendant. People in tourism field get a chance to improve organizational and coordination skills by coordinating service, trips and accommodation and enjoys working with people (Side, 2002). People, who have pursued their career in tourism, have provided with specialized skills and interest in several activities like sailing, scuba diving, hiking and so on. Some careers like hotel manager, pilots requires formal educational program, however most of the career in this sector requires skills and experience rather than formal education. Thus, career in tourism industry can offer range of industrial experience and opportunities.
There are range of companies rely under the group of tourism industry, for example, Marriot International, Wuxi Sunshine International, Cox and King etc. However, among the all tourism companies, the business profile of ‘The Tourism Company’ highly qualified and leading tourism groups in UK economy. It is basically a tourism consulting company that deliver high quality tourism strategies and prepares tourism master plans for clients in more than 50 countries around the globe (Costa and Buhalis, 2012). It has successfully completed more than 1000 customized plan over the last 50 years. So, starting career with this company will offer a unique opportunity for developing personal and professional career along with several other benefits like working in a culturally diverse segment etc. Starting career with this company will provide vast experience regarding tourism industry regarding tourism master plan, tourism strategies, plans and business development.
For conducting the study, the researcher has selected the topic “how does organizational work process and industrial experience influence personal and professional growth of an individual”. One of the prime objectives for selecting this particular topic for preparing academic research proposal on work-based learning experience is that it will help to uncover detail analysis about the basic aspect of work experience. As mentioned in above, the researcher used to work in Thomas Cook as a Trainee Assistant in travel agent department and thus is provided with some experience to work in tourism industry. Due to the same reason, it will be quite appropriate to make the proposal on tourism industry instead of some other. During the internship, the researcher got the opportunities to improve own capabilities to handle customers in different situations. Working in tourism industry provides a chance to meet different experienced person who have enough capabilities about attaining customer in proper way and make them happy (Meadows, 2001). It is essential to follow their footsteps and try to learn from them emery bit of their value that they wants to pass on their junior. Working experience in a well-profile company helps to improve interpersonal skills as well as managerial skills. In addition to that, it also helps to keep updated about the recent technology and their application in organizational tasks.
The work based learning program ensures that people efficiently take early step where they seek to sharpen their skills, knowledge and professional career. However, there are certain business constraints that limit the improvement of professional career and company’s ability to offer comprehensive program. The range of business constraints are divided into two categories, namely internal factor and external factor. Internal factors include literacy education level and motivation. Education level of the employee supplies the confident to carry out their job responsibility properly (Swallow et al. 2004). If the employees are not endow with sufficient educational level, in that case the concept of work based experience does not works appropriately. Further, motivation is also a crucial factor to develop work-based learning experience. If employees failed to find a workplace where they can give their best, it leaves them de-motivated to share their skills and develop work experience.
On the other hand, the external factors includes organizational environment, facts regarding safety (absence of fear), physical comfort, emotional and physical health, forms of communication, workplace diversity in terms of age, ability, interpersonal style and working styles, past experience, thinking and learning style and so on. Organizational environment contains the aspect of culture diversity and work process within the organization. Because of cultural diversity, employees can experience informal division in their team and not feel open to share skill, knowledge and experience that curbing their individual work based learning. Further, diversity in the forms of communication is another problem that create obstacle in spreading work based learning (Quinton and Smallbone, 2008). If diversity place hindrance in the way of workplace communication, it discourage employees to gain positive experience from their chosen organization. Perceived experience from the current employment often vary with the range of previous experience. If the experiences from these two jobs position varied widely, people gets confused to specialized in one between them.
Whether it can be casual job or formal placement, it acts as a key to extract work experience or minimal learning value that plays an important role in future career development. Being a Trainee Assistant in the travel agent department of Thomas Cook, one of the crucial tasks was to marketing the business and dealing with the customer queries properly. After performing this kind of roles, the communication skill has enlarged greatly. Effective communication skill is very important in tourism industry where the risk of misunderstanding is very high and thereby potential cost (Liyanage et al. 2013). Good communication skill prevents mistakes and misunderstanding from happening. During the internship, several mentors and line managers assess the job performance on an ongoing basis. It helped to develop a picture over the organizational placement of how one can improve their own skills. Colleges and universities only could help to recognize theoretical overview regarding a particular subject, however working experience in a practical field assists to demonstrate them in the career placement. Work experience helps to express self-reliance skill that supplies confident to work independently and priorities through rearranging the commitments (Rati, 2011). The working experience during the internship helps the researcher to develop basic knowledge about values of different culture, up-to-date worldview, client loyalty strategy in tourism industry and knowledge reframing various tourism destinations worldwide. Now, the researcher is quite able to understand needs of the customers and according to that most appropriate customer service. Apart from that, the working experience also expands work history and connection with the agents in tourism field.
The benefits of the proposed work experience plan activates can be enjoyed by both the leaner and business house. Here the term business house represents ‘The Tourism Company’ that is operating in the tourism industry and also relevant for developing professional aim of the researcher. The activities of the work based learning seeks to establish a clear understanding of the necessary skills and requirements for establishing career in this particular industry. It helps to build competency required to operate in the business house including communication skill, problem solving, teamwork, and so on. The learning process not only involve gaining knowledge from the theoretical aspects, rather also enlarge in gathering practical knowledge from the organization and also translate them with the help of administrator. These activities will help the researcher to relate his/her academic qualification with the practical application (City and Guilds Centre for Skills Development, 2011). On the other hand, the business house involve in this activities will be able to measure and judge the skill and experience level of the learner. Firms can use this to help the learner to spread accurate information about the company’s requirements and develop a potential employee based, which in turn results in higher productivity. ‘The Tourism Company’ can utilize this situation to handle operational practice in right hand. Thus, employee skills and job requirements will help both the parties to create sustainable business practice and work based learning experience in addition to academic lesson.
As defined by Hopkins (1990), code of practice is concerned with the arrangement of agreed and negotiated period learning that takes place outside the college or university boundaries with the cooperation and support of placement providers during a program of study. The ethical practice related to the placement process includes having written and authorized documents to prove the authenticity of the learning experience that has been gather with the work being perused with the organization. These requirements can be fulfilled by issuing an experience certificate from the designated work place. Apart from that, other factor that will be included in the placement requirements are related and valid academic qualification proof and proper details of academic institution to prove authenticity of the documents.
The requirements for fulfilling placements also involve the process of cross checking all the details of the documents provided by the candidates. The cross checking strategies are important to measure authenticity of the information showed by an applicant (Lloyd, 2002). The cross checking process often conducted by including a trustworthy reference name who can guarantee for the authenticity provided by the participants. On the other side, it is also vital for the applicant to understand and measure job requirements and work atmosphere properly to do full justice with their job position. Other essential requirements include professional behaviour, attitude and personality traits of the applicants that help to attract the employer. The code of practice should be maintained form both sides, i.e. selectors and candidates. The employer needs to state clear details about the job descriptions that the staffs needs to perform. On the other hand, a candidate also has to uphold clearly the reputation of their educational institute by stating true facts about their documents and qualification. Maintaining code of conduct from both side helps to prevent misunderstanding and develop a stable relationship, which could impose positive impact on the organizational performance.
There are several challenges for fresher in the job market of tourism field. The ranges of challenges regarding work based experience that the researcher can face are summarized in the following table. In the first column of the table challenges are identified in relation competition in the present job market. Priority levels based on the challenges are evaluated in the second row on the table. Third row list down the influence of these challenges on the work experience and the fourth row provides a review of the current status of the applicant. Lastly, the fifth row provides the time scale that is required for overcoming the challenges. The researcher could use this table upgrade progress within a certain time length for overcoming the challenges.
Given priority to stay in the current job market
Influence on the work experience
Status of the applicant
Time scale for overcoming this challenges
Even though up to some extent, cultural diversity regarded as the positive impact on the organizational performance, sometime it produce negative impact on the process of gaining work experience. In the companies like ‘The Tourism Company’, the chance of working in diverse culture is significantly high. Inability to manage in diverse culture often influence the work based learning capacity of the employees (Shepherd-Barron, 2010).
Readiness to work
Readiness to work implies motivation level of the employees to perform effectively in a challenging situation. This is based on the skill level of the employee and their reflection on the organizational performance.
Behaviour and personality of the employer
The behaviour of the employer provides a crucial impact on the individual performance in workplace. It is important for an employee to understand behavioural trait of the employer and perform job responsibility accordingly.
Mental Anxiety of the learner
Mental anxiety of the employees also can provide major negative impact on the work performance in workplace. Employer and employees both have to develop good communication system to discuss matter of issues openly.
The researcher has developed the initial plan for managing work based learning experience in a particular selected firm in tourism industry. The work based learning program in initial plan was created for assessing factors that will help to improve professional career development of the researcher. However, some crucial aspects as mentioned in the above table were not included in the initial planning process (Stokes and Wyn, 2007). One of the primary aspects is cultural diversity. Cultural diversity in tourism industry is crucial factor in facilitating cultural exchange on a global basis. The workforce of The Tourism Industry composed is definitely vast and diverse. The impact of working in a completely different environment is filled with diverse cultural personality, which was not acknowledged by the researcher. Thus, the researcher has to improve his/her interpersonal and communication skill to understand new cultural experience and enhance nature of communication with tourists from different cultures. This will provide an insights about how cultural diversity currently existing in the tourism market and the process adopted by ‘The Tourism Company’. On the other hand, the behaviour of the employers often influenced by the size of business, employee management policy and intensity of the organizational operations, was not included in the initial work based learning plan. These some factors need to include in the revised plan in order to enhance accuracy in the learning process.
The revised work based learning plan will include all aspects of cultural diversity for evaluating the influence of culture on the work practice of the firm (Winship, 2012). It will help to implement effective strategy with can be utilize to manage cultural diversity. The researcher needs to discuss this aspect with his/her administrator for understanding various strategies that can be implemented to control cultural shock among the staffs. This activity will be performed in the third day of planning process. The discussion with the supervisor will begin from the second day with the process of evaluating the behaviour of the employer and practically will be measured from the fourth day.
The primary suggestions that can be recommended for the researcher is reviewing the initial work based learning plan and modify it by adding sufficient ingredient in order to enhance accuracy of the plan in accordance with his/her professional objectives. The learning process of the chosen company also needs to develop in accordance with industrial requirements as identified by the researcher. The first suggestion for modifying initial work based learning plan will be measure the gap between the skill of learner and industrial requirements. This will help the researcher his/her current position and development needs. The researcher can use the direction of the modified plan to improve his/her career objectives. The changes in the plan will be made by considering career objective and specific details of the researcher. Another important improvement that can be consider here is giving special care on maintaining every step of the planning process carefully as it is important to prevent it from any mistakes.
The above paper mainly focuses on the importance of work-based learning if fulfilling professional career requirements. Based on the concept of work based learning, a proposal, work based learning plan has been developed. When looking for a job in industrial sector, the amount of work experience that one has is the key for deciding their first job position and starting salary. Experience as a part time worker is crucial to apply for senior position while completing educational program. Industrial sector always demonstrates higher level of work experience for any candidate entering employment. Based on the identified gaps in the study, some recommendation also has list down at the end of the study that can be followed to improve work based learning experience.
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