A major campaign has launched to boost perceptions of careers in hospitality and tourism, helping to attract new talent and tackle staffing challenges.
Recruitment has been a priority concern for employers in hospitality and tourism, which when compounded by the impact of COVID-19, has left many businesses struggling to recruit a full workforce, resulting in closures and scaled back service.
To confront this head-on employer-led network the Hospitality & Tourism Skills network (HATS) has partnered with Tourism NI to spearhead a multi-channel advertising campaign to promote the breadth of exciting opportunities that the industry has to offer potential job seekers.
Going live on 31 January 2022 and running until the end of March 2022, the campaign features a series of quirky eye-catching job descriptions across billboards, outdoor advertising and social media to attract attention and highlight the dynamic and fast-paced roles available, helping to attract new recruits.
Roisin McKee, Director of HATS said the campaign seeks to encourage people to join an industry that is looking to come back, bigger and better than ever.
She explained: “There are incredible opportunities for people to join hospitality and tourism and experience rewarding careers at all skill levels and this campaign is designed to help us get that message out.
“Working with industry and partners we want to help combat the staffing challenges and support the recovery of the industry by challenging perceptions and promoting the exciting and diverse opportunities on offer right now, helping to support recruitment and drive retention.
“Many employers are working harder than ever to attract and retain talent by making fundamental changes to offer a better quality job experience, so jobseekers can expect to be well looked after.”
As part of the campaign, employers are invited to advertise their vacancies for free on the CareerScope campaign jobs portal.
Supporting the campaign, the Department for the Economy (DfE) Minister said: “This important campaign highlights the many opportunities for employment across all disciplines in the
Tourism and hospitality industry and shows an encouraging future for a resilient sector as it seeks to recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Attracting and building a skilled workforce to meet industry’s requirements, both now and in the future, are vital in helping to drive recovery in the sector and ensuring Northern Ireland is able to compete on the global stage and maintain its reputation as a world class tourism destination.”
The campaign will be addressing three key priorities for the sector, those are to Attract, Retain and Engage employees and jobseekers as part of a wider Tourism Recovery Action Plan and the NI Skills Strategy.
Tourism NI Director of Strategic Development David Roberts said: “Recruiting into the hospitality and tourism sector has been challenging for a number of years due to the speed at which the industry has grown, tackling this alongside reducing staff turnover, are both clear priorities for the sector.
“We are delighted to be working with the Hospitality & Tourism Skills Network to deliver this awareness campaign which will boost the message that the sector is a positive career choice. Attracting and building a skilled and sustainable workforce is key to ensuring that tourism can recover and return to the levels of success achieved in the years up to 2019.
“We strongly encourage employers to register now to take advantage of promoting their vacancies for free to benefit directly from the campaign.”
The HATS network, set up in December 2019, brings together a diverse mix of employers from across the hospitality and tourism sector alongside industry associations and key delivery partners from government and education in order to collectively address issues around sector image, attractiveness and skills development into and within the sector.
The HATS network project is supported by Invest Northern Ireland under its Collaborative Growth Programme.
Supporters of the recruitment campaign include the NI Hotels Federation, NI Tourism Alliance, Hospitality Ulster, Bus and Coach NI, Springboard, Invest NI, Institute of Hospitality, Ulster University, the six FE colleges, the Department for the Economy and Department for Communities.
Employers can upload their vacancies for free at careerscope.uk.net/employer-sign-up
Jobseekers can check out jobs available at careerscope.uk.net/jobs/NI or follow #CountMeIn
One Week Left To Go To Apply For This Year’s Boardroom Apprentice
There’s only one week left to apply for this year’s Boardroom Apprentice programme online via the official Boardroom Apprentice website.
All applications are to be submitted by 3:00pm on Tuesday, May 24.
Now in its sixth year, the Boardroom Apprentice is a UK first 12-month unique board learning, development and placement programme which enables those who would like to serve on a public or third sector board to learn and gain experience through in-depth training and support.
Founded by Eileen Mullan in 2017, the programme has helped 223 candidates from across Northern Ireland to begin their Boardroom journey thanks to its support from the Department of Finance.
Applications are open to those aged 16 or over from all backgrounds and abilities as the programme aims to enable a wider diversity of individuals to sit on boards and help move their board member role from aspiration to reality.
Eileen Mullan, Boardroom Apprentice founder, said: “I decided to create a programme that brings together three key elements – knowledge and understanding, experience and support.
Over a twelve-month window Boardroom Apprentices will get practical board experience, a suite of learning days and support to fully equip them to serve on a board in the public or third sector after completing the programme,“Being a Boardroom Apprentice is a gift. You get the programme as a gift with the expectation that you give it back. Being a Boardroom Apprentice is about preparing you for public service, which is about you playing your part.”
Throughout the 12 months, candidates are required to take part in regular learning days on topics such as finance, governance along with a board placement on one of this year’s 58 Host Boards, matched by both Eileen and a selection of former apprentices.
2020 Boardroom Apprentice Magdalena Bisewska revealed the experience is for everyone.
“I would encourage anyone to apply. It’s about creating opportunities for everyone. We’ve all got something to contribute.
“I think everyone from any nationality, any background, all walks of life, should apply as it’s given you the confidence, the knowledge and the skills to make a difference.”
This year’s programme will run from 01st September 2022 – until 31st August 2023 in adherence to all relevant Covid-19 guidance.
“If being on a board giving your time and sharing your skills is something you aspire to do, but are not sure how to do then Boardroom Apprentice will enable you to do just that,” said Eileen.
Time To Tackle Energy Crisis Says Leading Engineering Firm
Northern Ireland’s leading engineering company, PAC Group, has called on newly elected MLAs to tackle the energy crisis by reducing barriers to renewable sources, such as solar.
PAC Group Business Development Director Darren Leslie was one of PAC Group’s team at the Balmoral Show this week, explaining to farmers and householders the benefits of solar panels, but he said that there is an urgent need for the new Assembly to address the renewable sector.
“We are facing one of the biggest energy problems for generations,” he said.
“Domestic consumers, businesses and farmers are all looking at massive price increases. With no reduction in the foreseeable future there has to be a concerted effort to support renewable energy.”
Mr Leslie explained that barriers included the lack of zero VAT, that applies in England, on solar panels.
“The UK government just over a month ago said anyone installing solar panels would benefit from zero VAT, but it’s not applicable to Northern Ireland. According to Westminster our Executive has to make that decision as we’re governed partly by the European Union rules” he said.
In addition, the PAC Group representative said that the lack of incentives for farmers and businesses prevents people from developing renewable energy sources.
“In Ireland grants are available but not here in Northern Ireland, and that is worrying for everyone in the agricultural sector especially,” explained Renewables Business Development Manager Brian Alexander of PAC Group.
He added: “Farms, businesses, outlets and stores want to establish their green credentials, for example supermarkets and fast food chains will be looking at their suppliers to show how green they are throughout the supply chain, without assistance many agricultural companies simply can’t embrace it.”
Although PAC Group were showcasing how they can support farmers with renewables at the Balmoral Show recently, they also want to explain to those attending the event the benefits of solar panels in the domestic sector.
“We can deliver a system that meets the needs of many people,” said Mr Alexander. “One of the biggest draws in your house when you go home at night is hot water. You need hot water to shower people, wash dishes, so whatever, hot water is a draw all year round.
“We have a system where you can generate the solar and any access solar that you don’t use it switches on a thing called a Solar iBoost or an Eddi and that will give you hot water onto your immersion. Basically, your immersion will top up but it’s using the power from the solar panels.
“A standard house will use about 4kW of electricity per year and a solar system in Northern Ireland will generate between, depending on where it is, 3.2-3.6 kW per year. In the current energy climate this would represent a considerable saving.”
Mr Leslie said the company’s attendance at the Balmoral Show is proving now is the time for action as soaring costs.
“Already we have seen a much larger number of enquiries than expected at the Balmoral Show. Many of these enquiries are from small domestic farms hoping to reduce the electricity consumption from the grid both from their home and farm buildings.
“Not just that, a large majority of enquiries have asked about funding sources and whether there is any help available to embrace solar as a renewable energy source.
“This entire sector needs to be addressed urgently by the new tranche of MLAs to support everyone in Northern Ireland as we look at having an energy crisis for some years ahead.”
PAC Group were offering domestic, commercial and agricultural packages at the Balmoral Show, all of which included a free, no obligation site analysis and estimate, along with free design and system yield calculation. For those that require it, the team will also provide assistance with commercial NIE Networks applications.