Above from left to right: Tanya McDowell-Ward, Operations Manager, McComb’s Coaches | Eimear Callaghan, Head of Experience & Industry Development, Tourism NI | Eddie McKeever, President NIHF, Pedro Silva, F&B Manager Bullitt Hotel | Sam Denning, GM, Everglades Hotel | Shannon Johnston, Assistant Events Operations Manager, Titanic Belfast
Leading industry employers joined forces at the School Summit this week to showcase the huge diversity of fulfilling roles on offer in hospitality and tourism.
Beannchor Group, Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast, Hastings Hotels, J&K Coaches Ltd, McComb's Coach Travel, Titanic Belfast, National MuseumsNI and Springboard joined the HATS Network to deliver a range of interactive activities to inspire students and teachers from secondary schools across NI and raise the profile of hospitality and tourism careers.
Taking a stand at the 2-day careers event which attracts thousands of students to explore a wide range of sectors, hospitality and tourism industry representatives brought the sector to life through impressive demonstrations and virtual reality activities to capture the interest and engagement of students and showcase sector careers.
A keynote panel Q&A session was also hosted by the HATS Network and Springboard where industry professionals passionately revealed what makes the sector such an attractive place to work as well as sharing their career stories and profiling the entry routes and development pathways in the industry. To help strengthen the appeal and challenge perceptions, many of the businesses described how they’re adapting to meet the needs of jobseekers. Flexible working, career progression and development opportunities, attractive salary packages as well as better perks and incentives were just some of the examples employers gave to highlight approaches they are taking to offer a better-quality job experience.
Roisin McKee, Project Director for the HATS Network comments on the event:
“This year’s School Summit provided the perfect opportunity to inspire students and teachers into the incredible opportunities on offer for fulfilling careers with huge progression potential. It was fantastic to bring together representatives from different corners of the industry to showcase the breadth of vibrant roles available.
“Against the backdrop of widespread staffing challenges and intense competition for talent, it’s incredibly important we demonstrate to students and those who influence them the wealth of rewarding career opportunities hospitality and tourism has to offer. 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 the event and a huge thank you to our funders, Invest NI, Tourism NI and NI Hotels Federation for supporting our attendance.”
Marian O’Hara, Human Resource Manager, The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast adds:
“We are thrilled to have participated for the second year in the School Summit 2023. We aim to work collaboratively with industry partners to inspire the next generation and showcase the boundless opportunities that await for any students who are exploring a career within our sector.”
Jack Semple, HR & Compliance, J&K Coaches adds:
“J&K Coaches are delighted to have been involved in the 2023 School Summit. Travel and tourism play a huge part in the economy, offering diverse career opportunities from hospitality, travel management and general tourism. It’s a huge platform for understanding the many different cultures and being able to work alongside them. This industry has the ability to create several new jobs, support local businesses, generate revenue and contribute to the many different communities and regions. A career in travel & tourism gives you the opportunity to travel to some of the most amazing places in the world. Why opt for a job when you can embrace a new way of life?”