Employers across the tourism and hospitality sector joined forces this week at an insight event for careers advisors and work coaches to shift perceptions of what it’s like to work in the industry and to showcase the huge diversity of fulfilling roles on offer.
Facilitated by the HATS Network and supported by Tourism Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities, the ‘Hospitality and Tourism Insight Event’ welcomed over 230 attendees and gave them the opportunity to hear directly from employers on the unique benefits of a career in tourism and hospitality.
Providing attendees with an overview on the importance of tourism and insight on the investment being made in tourism to develop new experiences, Tourism Northern Ireland also announced an exciting new careers campaign – Make it Here – to change perceptions of working in the sector and attract more great people.
Leading employers including The Beannchor Group, McComb’s Coach Travel, Charlie’s Bar, Todd’s Leap Activity Centre and Corick Country House demonstrated the wealth of rewarding career opportunities available in their businesses and explained the desired skills, qualities and attributes they are looking for in candidates.
Strengthening the appeal, many of the businesses described how they are adapting to meet the needs of jobseekers. Flexible working, career progression and development opportunities, attractive salary packages as well as better perks and incentives are just some of the approaches employers are taking to offer a better-quality job experience.
A poll with attendees showed that their understanding of the industry and the benefits it offers increased as a result of the event. When asked how well they understand the type of careers on offer in tourism and hospitality at the start of the event, the average was 3.2 out of 5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent) which increased to 4.4 at the end of the event. In terms of the benefits of a career in the industry, at the start of the event attendees on average rated their understanding as 2.9 out of 5 which increased to 4.3 out of 5 at the end of the event.
Speaking about the success of the event, Roisin McKee, Project Director of HATS Network said:
“It was fantastic to bring together representatives from different corners of the industry to showcase the breadth of vibrant roles available. The work coaches and careers advisors were able to hear first-hand about the incredible opportunities for people to secure a fulfilling career with huge progression potential.
“Against the backdrop of widespread staffing challenges and intense competition for talent, it’s incredibly important we demonstrate to career influencers the changes industry is making to attract and retain people. As we look for ways to secure our talent pipeline and foster a sustainable workforce, I’d like to say thank you to those employers who took part in today’s event.”
Eimear Callaghan, Head of Experience & Industry Development adds:
“Tourism NI recognises the challenges that exist when it comes to recruitment and retention in our sector, an industry based on great people. We welcome this opportunity to engage with careers officers and work coaches to discuss the many benefits that careers in this area offer future candidates. The event is very timely also, as we have recently launched the Make it Here campaign, designed to change perceptions of working in the tourism and hospitality sector.”