News that the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) is running an eight-week program to mentor young tourism employees will be welcomed by their bosses but mourned by Facebook, whose traffic will no doubt plummet as a result.
I’ve lost count of the number of times one of my Gen Y staff has phoned in sick – too ill to get out of bed and drag themselves to work – only to watch their Facebook status going crazy for the rest of the day.
“XXX has the flu” they post. They don’t, of course. They have what’s known in medical circles as “the common cold”. If you’re too ill to come to work, you’re too ill to tell your mates you “like this”, you’ll be “attending Splendor in the Grass” or that you expect the “Sea Eagles to beat the Titans in the NRL at the weekend… LOL”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nurturing young talent. I’ve even included a session on that very theme at the Adventure & Backpacker Industry Conference in November, with ATEC Managing Director Matt Hingerty detailing how the Young ATEC National Development Program will motivate and inspire young tourism employees and provide them with a platform to develop essential business knowledge and networks.
And obviously I’m generalising to make a point. Some of my Gen Y colleagues work almost as hard as I do.
I just hope ATEC imposes strict elligibility criteria for the program, so only those genuinely interested in developing their careers are allowed to attend.
Those who see it simply as an early induction into the travel industry freebie culture should be told to FRO.