Travel, leisure, sport and hospitality

Travel, leisure, sport and hospitality is an exciting and fulfilling industry that places people and customer experiences at the centre of all its business.
Charlene Troth – Level 4 Management and Leadership Apprenticeship, Greene King

What’s an apprenticeship in travel, leisure, sport and hospitality?

Do you aspire to manage a high-profile hotel group, work for a large travel company, be a 5-star chef or own and manage your own business? Apprenticeships in this huge industry give you the skills for an exciting, challenging and in-demand career of your choice. 

Travel, leisure, sport and hospitality is an incredibly diverse sector with potential for careers in lots of exciting areas. There are opportunities for those aspiring to leadership roles and those with fresh ideas who are willing to work hard.

Charlene Troth – Level 4 Management and Leadership Apprenticeship, Greene King

"It’s a really sociable industry to work in and suits bubbly personalities who love being around people. You meet some great characters, some that have a real impact on your life. The team really do become an extended family and I’ve met many friends for life just through my apprenticeships."

Charlotte Hewson – Apprenticeship Manager, Greene King

"We know if staff feel happy and supported then they’ll stay with us and that’s why we invest so heavily in apprenticeships at this grass roots level. We’re here to build our staff up so they can have a fulfilling career.”

Facts and stats

Average salary
The average salary in the UK in this industry is £22,98312.
The hospitality and tourism sector employs over 3 million people in the UK3.
Core skills
Many key industry skills are transferable. After completing an apprenticeship, you could travel the world, progress into managerial roles or stay in a role you already love.
Industry growth
Research shows dining out and travelling are peoples’ favourite activities4, so there are always opportunities in the sector. 
Since 2010, tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK for employment5.
Economic growth
Britain will have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 20256.

Who would suit an apprenticeship?

The travel, leisure, sport and hospitality industry offer a wide range of apprenticeship programmes resulting in different levels of qualification. Tourism or hospitality apprenticeships could also be, for example, combined with study in business management or finance to further develop your qualification and professional opportunities. 

Apprentices have the chance to choose from a variety of roles in different working environments. Whether you wish to be part of adventure tourism, health and fitness, public sector, conferences and events, hospitality or something else entirely, an apprenticeship is a great way to start.

Apprenticeships are offered in lots of small and medium sized businesses, and you can also find employment in local authorities, sports associations and national governing bodies. Some well-recognised firms offering apprenticeships include British Airways, Centre Parcs, David Lloyd Leisure, Hilton, Greene King and P&O cruises.

If you’re a people-person with excellent communication skills and a desire to help others enjoy their free time, boost their fitness and wellbeing or create meaningful experiences travelling the world, this might be the right choice for you.

Natalie Morgan – Level 5 Leadership and Management Apprenticeship, Welsh Gymnastics

“I’ve worked on some amazing projects to bring sports and physical activities into peoples’ lives. I’ve worked with women from Muslim backgrounds, people with disabilities, over 60s and most recently young people in schools through a Disney project. The variety has been great and really rewarding.”

Discover employers offering apprenticeships

Like the sound of an apprenticeship but not sure where to start looking? Get to know leading brands and the range of apprenticeships they offer.

Explore employers

  • Some apprenticeships in the field don’t need any previous qualifications.
  • It’s a sociable industry where you’ll meet lots of people.
  • Roles often offer fast progression up the career ladder.
  • You might need to work evenings and weekends.
  • You’ll need to balance work and study at the same time.
  • It can be difficult to have a good work-life balance.

Why choose an apprenticeship?

Apprentices in the leisure, tourism, sport and hospitality gain experience and customer skills which lead to sustained long-term success in their careers.

I now have a whole bank of knowledge and skills that I can use in any sector.

Natalie Morgan, Apprentice at Welsh Gymnastics

Employers acknowledge apprentices as an extremely valuable part of their business and work together with training providers to give mentorship, guidance and support.

As well as any technical skills needed, success in this industry is dependent on lots of soft skills, including communication, teamwork, commercial awareness, flexibility and enthusiasm. If you can demonstrate this, it’ll help you stand out in the application.

This industry is all about aptitude, enthusiasm and being able to work with customers and in a team.

Charlotte Hewson, Employer at Greene King

Industry top tips

Watch our top tips on how to get into travel, leisure, sport and hospitality.

How do you start an apprenticeship?