National tourism careers drive launched
6000 entry level jobs are available each year
A national tourism careers programme was launched on 29 September by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan, TD. The programme is designed to show secondary school students aged 15-18, the full range of exciting career paths and options available throughout the country. Tourism and hospitality businesses, are playing an important role in the programme, as these businesses need to recruit over 6,000 entry-level employees each year.
Targeting more 800 secondary schools and YouthReach centres, the programme is run by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. It includes Tourism Insight, an interactive online programme for students and teachers and Get a Life in Tourism, a free digital and print magazine on tourism career options. There is also a student work experience programme, school talks by industry professionals and a series of regional careers events. With over 40 different career choices across areas such as food and beverage; catering; accommodation services; reception; leisure centre and spa facility management; sales and marketing; human resources; IT; management and finance.
Tourism is one of Ireland’s largest employers, supporting 220,000 jobs, 50,000 of which were created since 2011. In 2015 Ireland attracted over 8 million overseas visitors and total tourism revenue was €7.5 billion.
This continued growth in tourism is creating thousands of additional employment opportunities for young people. With tourism now on track to create a further 40,000 new jobs by 2021, there is an increasing need for the industry to attract skilled employees – which continues to be a challenge for many tourism businesses, including hotels and guesthouses.
The National Tourism Careers Programme hopes to promote tourism as a rewarding and exciting career opportunity and encourage more young people to explore the options and career paths on offer.
Speaking at the launch, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Hospitality John Mulcahy emphasised: “Sometimes, in the national conversation which takes place around the CAO system and Leaving Cert points, a future in tourism can be unfairly neglected... Tourism has the ability to unlock the potential in many young people but, crucially, it offers a career path in so many different directions. Working in tourism also allows young people great flexibility to stretch themselves – whether through moving up or across different roles in the sector or travelling around the world to ply their skills in the global tourism sector before coming back home to create cutting edge experiences for our visitors.”
For more information check out the Irish Hotels Federation website.