A recent whitepaper commissioned by BCD Travel's confirms that Asia is facing a huge talent crunch in the corporate travel industry.
The survey by the world’s third largest travel management company found that organisations frequently face difficulties matching the right talent to the open positions.
In Singapore, 55% of employers find it hard to fill skilled jobs. The future is expected to face further changes in talent supply. Some of the proposed recommendations to solve these issues include employee engagement, change in leadership mindset and improvement of recruitment models.
To tackle this issue, BCD Travel has begun putting initiatives in place to reach out to the Generation Y to educate them and increase awareness about corporate travel management.
Asia Pacific president Greg O’Neil kicked off the programme with a presentation to students of Temasek Polytechnic on campus. In October 2011, another similar visit was made to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
It also organised an exclusive site visit for selected university students to come face-to-face with executives and experience the company’s daily operations.
The full-day site visit last December was aimed at providing tertiary students the opportunity to experience the corporate travel industry and the workplace environment.
BCD Travel is also a patron of WITNext, the Inspiring Young Minds initiative from Web In Travel.
“While Asia is experiencing a rapid growth in the corporate travel industry, it has been challenging to attract talent,” said O’Neil. “ Our collaboration with the tertiary institutions in Singapore aims at engaging and attracting the younger talent to the industry and grooming them to be the future generation of leaders and professionals.”
This effort by BCD Travel has changed the approach for students in their selection of tertiary internship programmes. The attendees of the site visit came to understand and assess the company, and the industry, prior to their internship and career placement.
“This event organized by BCD Travel was useful towards my career planning. It was an eye-opener as I had the opportunity to experience the actual activities that occur daily in, and the working environment of a corporate travel management company,” expressed Ivan Lim from the Faculty of Accountancy, Nanyang Technological University.
Added another student pursuing a major in Tourism and Hospitality Management, Sherilyn Lim, “After a day at BCD Travel, I realized that corporate travel management is more than just air ticket bookings. The industry presents vast opportunities, and the need to keep up with the dynamic industry makes it exciting to work in.”
Through this event, BCD Travel has found that the students these days are more engaged in their internship selection – from understanding the industry they want to work in, to the roles that would suit them best.
All in all, it was a successful visit for both parties. All the students expressed their interest in working at BCD Travel. Ivan Lim has personally reached out to the company for an internship opportunity, which they have accepted. Two others have indicated their interest to join the company as part-time employees to explore the corporate travel management industry and culture further.
BCD Travel is keen to stay on this track and continue working with tertiary institutions to educate their students, and create awareness about the corporate travel management industry. In addition, they have plans to further engage BCD Travel Asia Pacific vice-presidents to share about their specialisations like supplier relations, sales & client management, and others.
Students will also continue to have the opportunity to visit the BCD Travel office in Singapore and experience the day-to-day operations of the corporate travel management industry.