Former Fife College tourism student Rebecca Saxton returned to Kirkcaldy recently to help inspire the next generation of students who will hopefully now fly high and follow in her footsteps!

Rebecca was a guest speaker at a Travel and Tourism Conference held in the town’s Adam Smith Theatre which was organised by Fife College.     

Now based at Edinburgh Airport with Jet2, Rebecca (19) was part of a team from the airline that attended the conference at the Adam Smith Theatre.  Canvas Holidays were also in attendance at the annual event.   

Both companies provided students from across the College’s Tourism, Events and Retail department with valuable advice and tips on how to succeed in the industry and even provided some of them with job opportunities for when they complete their studies.

Rebecca, from Kinross, joined Jet2 after hearing from the organisation at the same conference three years previously.  She initially joined the airline as a customer adviser and is now set to become a member of cabin crew in the new year. 

Rebecca said: “It was a rewarding feeling coming back to speak at the conference. It made me feel really proud walking in with my Jet2 uniform on.

“It’s been really nice to advise people who maybe aren’t sure what job would be good for them and tell them a bit about what I do.  Many of them are in the same position I was in but when Jet2 spoke to me at the conference three years ago I knew it was definitely going to be for me.”

Organised by Fife College HNC Events students, the conference was opened in the morning by Bryan McCabe-Bell, Director of Faculty of Business, Enterprise and Tourism at Fife College, before students took part in workshops including interactive general knowledge quizzes which tested their teamwork abilities. 

11 HNC Events students were responsible for all aspects of the event which included venue booking, set-up and preparing an event itinerary. 

Another former tourism student, Billy Mackie, who has worked as a rep with TUI for the last three years, also attended the conference as a delegate and was on hand to answer any questions from current students. 

Ross Stirling, Events, Tourism and Retail Lecturer, said: “This is the tenth year our department has held this type of conference. It’s designed to allow our students the opportunity to experience interview techniques offered by leading industry organisations such as airlines and tour operators. Each year there are many of our learners who successfully gain employment both at home and abroad.

“The conference gives our learners the opportunity to build their confidence and to meet with potential employers. I’m very grateful to the HNC Events students who helped to organise and lead this event. Allowing the events students to organise such an important event gives them an ideal opportunity to put their learning into practice. We all look forward to seeing the success of our learners as we approach the preparations for summer season 2019.”

Latest figures, released in 2016, revealed that 207,000 people were employed in Scotland’s tourism sector, representing around eight per cent of all employment in Scotland.

Overall employment within the sector has increased by 12 per cent since 2011, creating an additional 20,000 jobs making it an attractive career choice for those leaving school or looking to change direction.    

For more information about Tourism, Events and Customer Service courses available at Fife College, visit our course pages.  

Image caption: Representatives from Jet2, including former Fife College student Rebecca Saxton (far right on stage), deliver their presentation at the annual Travel and Tourism Conference, held at Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy yesterday (19 November).