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Is it safe to start planning business trips abroad in 2022?

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Young business man arriving at airport
Overall, corporate travel ticket volumes finished 2021 down 43% compared to pre-pandemic levels | Source: ARC

Over the past 20 months, millions of business trips were put on hold or cancelled all together. For some, switching luxury airport lounges for the lounges of their own homes, even when it offered far less entertainment perks, was not a big issue. But for others, travelling as part of a job spec became part of their DNA – and that DNA went through many changes in 2020 and 2021.

“Corporate air travel ticket volumes started to pick up in October as the impact of the Delta variant wore off. Recovery flattened toward the end of the year which is typical given the holidays. Overall, corporate travel ticket volumes finished 2021 down 43% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Our current projections have it finishing 2022 down, once again, at 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels – and we still don’t expect them to hit pre-pandemic levels until late 2026.” – says Jim Allen, senior financial analyst at Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), an air travel intelligence and omnichannel providing tools and insights that connect the global travel community.

As not everyone is convinced that they can carry on working from home and, instead, would rather pack their laptop and board their first business trip of the new year, I asked entrepreneurs and professionals, from the travel industry, if it is safe yet to start planning a business trip abroad in 2022. The result was a mixed bag: 30% of those responding to my query posted online on the last day of 2021 are against rushing plans too far from your postcode any time soon. However, over 45% of almost 1,800 people who replied, believe that this is the year they will be dusting off their passport for one or more business trips.

Here are some of the highlights, including the professionals who will stay put for a bit longer, and those ready to go.

 

Postpone business trips if you can
“I was supposed to go on my first business trip this January. However, the current surge of the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc in our lives once again. The back-to-back flight cancellations and COVID-related travel restrictions are changing by the day, while more and more travel plans are getting affected.
If the travel is non-essential, I would advise travellers to postpone traveling until the worldwide COVID-19 situation gets better. If the travel is urgent, make it a point to know all the travel requirements and quarantine protocols. It is also important to practice extra caution when in transit, as a lot of the new cases were transmitted while flying.”

Emily Cooper – founder at luxury Italian menswear brand Oliver Wicks

 

Current necessary logistics aren’t worth the hassle

“Before the omicron variant, I was very optimistic about business trips and thought I could finally meet with some of the partners in person. However, the situation keeps changing and a lot of European countries are closing their borders or tightening COVID-related policies. I think now is the worst time to plan any trips abroad because of the uncertainties and potential existence of new variants. I’m not sure when it will be possible to plan, but I expect to see a similar situation for another 6 months at least. The only option is to plan a week or two in advance, in case of shorter trips. However, this doesn’t mean much because of the necessary logistics for trips, so it’s better to simply avoid traveling for some time.”

Malte Scholz – CEO at software solution company Airfocus

 

Renting a car is still safe

“From a car rental perspective, I would suggest it is very safe. Despite what the last 2 years have thrown at the travel industry, car rentals (when pre-booked) have remained one of the only travel services to offer a full refund up to 24 hours prior to travel, meaning that should your plans change due to personal isolation, airline cancellation or even government travel restrictions, you’ll never be left out of pocket with the rental car. Simply cancel for a full refund as soon as you know of your plans changing.
Equally, if you opt for pay on arrival (common place in the US), if you do not show at the rental counter, there will again, of course, be no charge.”

Phil Partridge – Marketing Manager at rental company Rhinocarhire

 

Some travel insurance will not cover borders being closed

“Pandemic protocols could affect the travel industry for years, so it is important to be flexible and resilient when planning a business trip. With countries re-adding limitations to travel in an effort to stop the spread of new variants, business travelers should be careful of traveling internationally as most travel insurance policies don’t cover when your destination closes its borders. With searches for “business travel accident insurance” up 350% in the past 12 months, ensure that your insurance covers cancellations, lost baggage, medical emergencies, trip interruptions, and delays. As you may need to cancel or rearrange your business trip, make sure to book a refundable ticket. These tickets are at a higher price point but are a good option if you’re uncertain about your travel plans.”

Naveen Dittakavi – CEO at Next Vacay

 

Yes, it can be done safely
Our agency, Haute, plans domestic and international incentive trips for corporations as well as other in-person events, so we are extremely conscious of safety policies for gatherings.

From small groups of 10 people to larger meetings of several hundred, we believe that it is possible to safely travel and meet for business. Throughout 2021, my colleagues and I visited seven countries safely (UAE, Maldives, Belize, USA, Bahamas, Mexico, and Colombia). We were vaccinated, masked, and cautious in crowded places. Although some countries had strict requirements for entry, some had completely open borders with no testing necessary. We had to stay up-to-date on country guidelines and airline policies, and we tried to fly business class where possible to get more personal space on the plane, especially the overnight flights. Having business meetings and seeing local cultural sites was easy – we primarily stayed with outdoor dining, or a private room in a restaurant when we were with a group.

Liz Lathan – Chief Marketing Officer at Haute Companies

 

You could be stranded abroad

“One is not fully immune to the virus even after taking the vaccines. Not only is health the issue but with rapidly fluctuating travel restrictions, it can be a game-changer for your plans. Imagine the borders closing just a few days before your departure. That would change everything, and you will have only a few days to stop things from falling apart. This would be a hectic drama to deal with. Hence, plan with the future in mind and a strong backup. Thus, be careful and alert while you plan trips this year.”

Hilda Wong – Founder at content writing agency Content Dog

 

Be flexible when planning your next trip

“Travel disruptions are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, so it’s important to stay flexible. Make sure you’re up to date on entry requirements at your destination, as these could change before your trip. If you don’t generally purchase travel insurance, it may be a good idea to consider it for travel this year.

We’re still seeing a return of pre-pandemic demand for travel, and there seems to be a reluctance to return to the travel restrictions of the past two years. While the situation could certainly change, it does appear that 2022 will be a better year for traveling abroad.”

Steve Oliverez – CEO at travel comparison website InsanelyCheapFlights

 

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

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7 Interesting ways an education degree can help your career

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Professor teaching a class in a library
A master’s degree in education can open doors for opportunities beyond the classroom walls

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world will need over 69 million new teachers by 2030. So, if you’re looking to enter the field of education, your choice is justified. However, it’ll be more helpful to gain a degree education route to ensure you gain all the vital skills.

Obtaining an education master’s degree is one of the best ways to advance your career and respond to future challenges. The education degrees offered by universities are so varied that they’re suitable for all kinds of educators, whether a high school teacher or a university lecturer. From engineering to neuroscience, there’s nothing you can’t study for your advanced degree in education.

The best part is that a degree in education is also useful for various professions, which means if you want to transition from a teacher to a more corporate field (e.g., a learning and development officer for a bank), your education background will always come in handy.

If you’re curious about how an education degree can help your career, this article provides you with seven interesting ways. Keep reading.

 

1.   It helps transition into administrative work

The easiest way for an educator to transition into school administration is to acquire an education degree. A master’s in education equips you with the necessary leadership and administrative skills needed for administrative positions.

These skills, merged with your real classroom experience and interpersonal relationship skills with students and parents, make you an eligible candidate at every educational level. Whether it’s an on-campus or online master’s program, you’re given the requisite knowledge and necessary credentials needed to tackle any demands of an administrative position in the education sector.

 

2.   It helps you master the science of teaching

The key to career development starts with your personal development. No matter their years of experience, every educator always has to consciously invest in their career development if they want to be more within the education sector.

When you register for an MA education degree, you get to improve your skills as an educator and keep up with the changing times. For the duration of this degree, you’ll be provided with newly enhanced skills that allow you to engage with your students on a higher and improved level for optimum output.

An educator who intentionally masters the science of teaching and constantly seeks to improve their expertise becomes a person whom students love to engage with regularly because they know they’re going to perform better.

 

3.   It allows you to develop your career specialty

We all have specific areas of interest, no matter the profession we pursue. In the education sector, you can branch into different specialties with the help of a master’s degree. The master’s degree gives you the authority in your chosen speciality and field, which in turn enables you to develop the requisite teaching abilities to fulfill your purpose in your chosen area of interest.

You might be interested in education for a specific age group, administrative work related to education, or merging two different education niches. No matter your preferences, there are many graduate degree programs with unique specialization offers you can apply for.

The best part about developing a specialty is that you get to embed your passions in your profession, which makes your job a breath of fresh air. You love what you do and how it impacts people; that’s the best career advancement you can ever experience.

 

4.   It offers flexibility

Many teachers and educators end up leaving the profession because they’re not aware of the various professional opportunities outside of the classroom. The science of teaching is never limited to the classroom walls, and with a master’s degree in education, you’ll discover that.

The education field is highly extensive, but certain sectors can only be accessed with advanced degrees and further education. A master’s degree in education offers flexibility and equips you with the requisite skills to transition from being a classroom teacher to entering the corporate rifle for a non-profit education sector. These areas always require the training and development of skilled personnel, and who is better than you, a fellow professional?

 

5.   You can maximize your income

The more advanced your degree, the higher you are likely to earn, no matter your chosen profession. It’s not a rule of thumb, but it might as well be. Research shows that a teacher with a master’s degree in education often earns twice as much as a bachelor’s degree annually.

In some cases, recruiters automatically increase your wages when you attain a master’s degree in education from certain academic institutions. With this in mind, what’s stopping you from going for that degree?

One might argue that finding time to walk into a campus-based classroom is stressful, with countless students to teach and a home to take care of. Studying isn’t that hard in this era, though, thanks to virtual options made available by different educational institutions. You can always opt for an online degree program, which offers you great flexibility, allowing you to work and study simultaneously with ease.

 

6.     You can move into learning and development

Besides the non-profit sector, a master’s degree in education also perfectly sets you up for a corporate world role. One example is learning and development. As a part of the HR process, learning and development officers identify staff training and development needs. They also build training programs for organizations to ensure staff members have the essential knowledge to carry out their duties with ease.

Learning and development officers are usually versed in leadership skills and have real classroom experience. They also have a deeper understanding of the organization’s key HR initiatives and know how best to engage employees. A master’s degree teaches how you develop and hone these essential skills with ease, making you a more eligible candidate as soon as you graduate.

 

7.     It aids with career transitions

As mentioned earlier, education is always evolving. The constant change demands that educators and teachers stay on top of trending methodologies and teaching updates to remain relevant. With a master’s degree in education, achieving this is not a difficult feat.

The best thing about a master’s degree in education is that it isn’t just suited for educators and teachers. Thanks to the evolution of education, these advanced degrees can now be pursued by professionals from varying fields looking to educate their professions and organizations.  Nowadays, various education master’s degrees focus on specific branches of professional education such as science, engineering, and technology.

Everyone can consider a master’s degree in education. It’s a great field that attracts countless people from varying backgrounds like teaching, medicine, and psychology. The content offered within these master’s degree programs is in-depth. They promise to give you a deeper understanding of education and how best innovation can be used to make education more challenging and exciting.

 

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Sky Studios Elstree searches for young talent to join Content Academy

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Applications for new roles aimed at launching young people into a career in film and TV close on May 15th | Photo: Kyle Loftus

Sky Studios Elstree is on the search for local candidates, in Hertfordshire, to fill 12 fully paid, year-long placements as part of Sky’s Content Academy, aimed at launching young people into careers in the film and TV industry.

The Studio, which is set to open later this year, is looking for eight school leavers and four recent graduates to work at their brand-new site and is calling out for applicants from Borehamwood, Elstree and the surrounding areas.

For school leavers, the roles include four Runners who will be at the heart of the operations of Sky Studios Elstree, working with the Client Services and Operations teams to provide support to some of the biggest productions filming in the UK. There’s also one Rigging and three Lighting roles to be filled and this team will play a critical role in providing set lighting and equipment to clients filming at the studios.

“Elstree and Borehamwood is synonymous with producing world-class film & TV and, as long-term partners in the local area, we are excited to create these new opportunities for young people who want to get in to the industry. These roles allow us to break down barriers to entry, by enabling applicants without previous film or TV experience to secure a paid, full-time role at the heart of the UK’s newest studio. These 12 new roles, on top of the jobs already created locally at the studio, are just the first intake of placements and we’re excited to announce more as we ready for opening later this year.” – says Caroline Cooper, COO at Sky Studios.

When it opens later this year, Sky Studios Elstree will house 13 studios and enable £3bn of production investment over the first five years of operation.

The graduate roles include Senior Runner and Client Services and Operations Trainee positions. These candidates will be responsible for everything from coordinating the runner team, attending production meetings to overall studio operation support. The positions are designed to give people starting out in their career a broad understanding of what goes into productions and the vast range of opportunities available, as well as allowing them to build up their on-set experience and production network.

This opportunity follows Sky’s yearlong partnership with Elstree Screen Arts Academy, coaching students in a documentary project celebrating Elstree & Borehamwood’s rich film and TV heritage. This summer, ESA students will receive first-hand production experience as part of a 6-week summer internship on a variety of Sky Studios productions.

These new roles come after Sky Studios Elstree announced a local recruitment drive late last year for a range of operational roles and for facilities support across the site including security, cleaners and maintenance.

Applications for new roles aimed at launching young people into a career in film and TV close on May 15th  and for further information visit: https://careers.sky.com/earlycareers/content-academy/

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Applications for the 2022 Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant are open until May 20

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Young athlete getting ready
In 2021, more than 9,000 athletes benefited from Airbnb athlete support programs, representing more than $4 million in direct support | Photo: Anastase Maragos

Airbnb has opened applications for the next edition of the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant, in partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The program, which was launched in 2021, offers up to 500 athletes a year $2,000 USD travel grant to use exclusively on the accommodation platform as they travel, train, and compete and will run through 2028.

Last year 500 athletes representing 125 countries and 63 sports benefitted from the Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant program, including Canoe sprint athlete Saied Fazloula, who represented the Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020:

’’I used my Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant for multiple trips before the Olympic Games in Tokyo, including for a training camp and other competitions. It’s incredibly valuable to have this support as a refugee – Airbnb has provided not only a grant, but also a clear head so that I can concentrate on my sport.” – acknowledges Fazloula.

Applications will close on May 20, 2022 at 1:59 pm PDT. The Airbnb Athlete Travel Grant can only be used towards Stays in association with training, medical, or competition-related travel, and is not intended for non-sports-related personal use.

To find out more and apply, visit: www.airbnb.com/athletetravelgrant

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