By Dean Long, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Federation of Travel Agents
Solutions. Evolution. Celebration.
Three words that capture perfectly our focus for this past month.
AFTA’s fight to find solutions to the massive skills and workforce challenges our members and sector face has continued.
We are proud to have played our part in shaping the conversation, helped by AFTA’s National Taskforce on Skills and Careers.
Our focus, following the outcomes of the AFTA National Taskforce on Skills and Careers, is re-establishing support for traineeships and apprenticeships for travel. Travel has been incorrectly taken off the priority skills lists and this needs to be rectified. This included meeting with the Minister for Immigration, The Hon. Andrew Giles to discuss the need to reform the visa system and allow travel consultants on the priority lists for immigration.
AFTA maintains engagement at all levels of government through direct approaches but also through the Federal Labor Business Forum and the Nationals Corporate Program. These programs allow AFTA to influence policy development in the political sphere.
We also released the results of the independent review of the Australian Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) and changes to our Board following the AFTA AGM. This saw the appointment of Roy Merricks, Co-Founder and Co-MD of MTA. His expertise will be hugely valuable as we seek to expand the value of ATAS in the coming years and given the mobile adviser and personal travel managers is a segment of the Australian travel sector that continues to grow.
A series of webinars on the changes to the ATAS Charter and Code are now underway and open to non-ATAS members.
And last but not least, we are well and truly on the countdown to NTIA on 15 October in Sydney, with Singapore Airlines as the major sponsor. We can’t wait to celebrate with you.