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Women in Travel to host second Women Returners program in September 2019

Women in Travel to host second Women Returners program in September 2019

Women in Travel (CIC), the social enterprise dedicated to empowering women through employability and entrepreneurship in the travel industry, has celebrated the return of the Women Returners program for a second year.

Women Returners is a unique initiative in the tourism and hospitality industry that works with supporting charities to identify, select, train and match talented women from marginalised communities and backgrounds with suitable employers who are looking to hire. Charities involved in the program include Crisis UK, Breaking Barriers, Refugee Council, Refuge and Bread Winners.

The forthcoming programme will take place at the Tara Hotel in Kensington, London, from 30th September to 4th October 2019 and will ensure that local women, ready to work but lacking in confidence and network, are provided with the right support to become fully engaged in the talent-hungry tourism and hospitality sector.

Women involved in the programme have encountered personal challenges that may have prevented full-time work in the past. For example, candidates may include refugees, homeless individuals, sexually trafficked and domestic abuse victims. All are capable individuals with previous work experience, often in relevant areas.

Employers are invited over two days to introduce themselves and interview a small group of women who are eager to work in the travel industry for entry-level job roles or paid internships. The programme is run over the course of a week and includes a series of workshops and peer mentoring groups.

Speaking about the Women Returners program, Alessandra Alonso, the Founder of Women in Travel (CIC) said: “The travel, tourism and hospitality industry is a fast-growing sector in the UK but talent is becoming increasingly scarce. The Women Returners programme therefore selects and trains women who are eager to return to work in the industry, but are currently under the radar, and ensures that their talent is visible to travel, tourism and hospitality employers who are keen to engage with a more diverse workforce.”

Ghazal Ahmad travelled to the UK after escaping the Syrian conflict and is now Reservation Agent at the Tara Hotel after taking part in one of last year’s Women Returners programme. Speaking about her new career, Ghazal said: “I was so pleased to find out about the Women Returners programme. I arrived in London from Syria and did not know anyone, but the programme gave me confidence and a great introduction to the hospitality sector, in which I already had some experience. I started as reservation coordinator but after just four months I was given a promotion, which I was so happy about!”