MP Karin Smyth cuts a ribbon for the travel hub. Students and staff are around her
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MP Karin Smyth opens new Travel Hub

City of Bristol College unveiled its £20,000 Travel Hub at its South Bristol Skills Academy (SBSA) last week after South Bristol MP Karin Smyth cut the ribbon on the new project.

The new Travel and Tourism resource will create a gateway into careers in the aviation industry for students in south Bristol after relocating from College Green in the city centre.

Head of Department for Travel and Tourism, Helen Mortimore, said the new facility will offer progression courses from level one to level three. She added: “SBSA has excellent facilities in terms of space which has enabled us to have a fully-fitted cabin crew training room with seats, and cabin equipment, that the students are able to use as part of their training.”

Prospective students to the college interested in the career field can explore courses in everything from air cabin crew to aviation as well as the standard travel and tourism course.

SBSA is just around the corner from its close partner, Bristol Airport, which is part of the Swissport Training Academy. The college has had a strong working relationship with the international airport for more than 10 years and has created strong pathways into employment for its students.

The Travel Hub, with its check-in desk and model aircraft cabin, gives students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and the opportunity to gain work experience with the local airport.

After MP Karin Smyth cut the ribbon on the hub, she hoped it would help the students achieve far more with the training offered. Speaking to the students, she said: “The foundation you have got here is really, really exciting. All of you who have embarked on this new opportunity have an exciting future ahead. We’ve got a skills shortage with loads of people who want good jobs, loads of people who love travelling, so this is a great opportunity.”

18-year-old level 2 Aviation student Ellie Canning said the course provides her with a gateway into the industry.

She said: “I studied the cabin crew course last year, and I could have left and gone straight into a position but I chose to come back to study Aviation because it gives you a better insight into the group operations. This course is 26 weeks and gives me a guaranteed interview with Swissport, so it is a gateway into the industry essentially.

“I originally attended St Brendan’s when I left school but my passions didn’t lie within the courses there, so my attendance was around 50%. But when I came back here to study, it went up to 96% because that is how much I enjoy it.”

Bristol Airport’s Students Learning Development Manager, Kate Clover, said the new hub will provide insight into the ‘real world’, saying the airport team were ‘really excited’ about the new Travel Hub.

She added: “I think our key excitement is being able to open the eyes of the students around what careers are available and to give them the confidence to move into those careers. Having this dedicated centre reinforces that, it gives an idea of what is available and gives those students an insight into their career path.”

Acting Principal and Chief Executive Richard Harris said he has very high hopes for the hub’s success.

He added: “What we want to provide for students and our community is part of the college vision and that vision is around preparing our learners for the world of work. Travel and tourism are a hugely important part of the national economy and in particular the south Bristol economy.

“It is important for us as a college to offer students routes into this sector, and offer the students professional, employer-standard facility which will allow them to see themselves embark on a journey to a prosperous future, a valuable career to a real vocation.”

Explore the courses we offer in our brand-new Travel Hub at

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