Northern Ireland’s leading tourism and hospitality organisations have come together to launch an exciting new campaign designed to encourage people to consider a career in the industry.
Employers in the sector were today urged to get involved in the first phase of Make it Here, a multimedia campaign that will shine a light on the industry, showcasing the unique benefits of a career in tourism and hospitality.
The campaign is being led by Tourism Northern Ireland and supported by key industry bodies such as Hospitality and Tourism Skills (HATS) network, Hospitality Ulster, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Springboard, Bus & Coach NI and a range of employers. It seeks to build on ongoing initiatives by industry bodies to change perceptions of careers in the industry.
Tourism generates an estimated £1bn in visitor spend for the North’s economy each year and accounts for one in every 12 jobs, with 65,000 people working in tourism and hospitality. But the sectors have faced significant skills shortages in recent years, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research undertaken by Tourism NI last year found that recruitment and retention was the biggest challenge cited by employers in the industry, alongside the cost of doing business. Separate research with HATS revealed that many people in Northern Ireland don’t consider a career in tourism or hospitality because of negative perceptions about issues such as job security and long hours.
Make it Here hopes to address those perceptions and highlight positive aspects of working in the industry that are usually overlooked, such as career progression opportunities, flexible working hours and the sociable nature of many roles. It will target new entrants to the job market but also career switchers and part time or seasonal workers, such as retirees considering a return to work.
David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development, Tourism NI said: “Tourism and hospitality is an industry that is based on people and this campaign is about getting more people to consider a career in the sector by showing not only the variety of roles but other benefits the sector offers, like working in special places, flexible hours to suit your lifestyle, meeting interesting people and making their day.
“Tourism NI recognises the challenges that exist when it comes to recruitment, retention and the perception of the industry. We want to make it a career of choice by showing that there are exciting opportunities for people to do something they love for a living.”
Employers in the tourism and hospitality industry are being encouraged to get involved in the campaign and a dedicated toolkit will be available for the first phase of the campaign. The toolkit will feature the campaign logos and suggestions for businesses on how to use these in their own recruitment to actively promote their vacancies during the campaign period.
A new website www.makeyourcareer.co.uk will showcase the range of careers available and signpost interested applicants to a range of job sites.
The Make it Here campaign aims to not only shift perceptions of what it’s like to work in Tourism and Hospitality but also benefit employers by driving an increase in the overall number and quality of applications for roles and helping them retain the good people they already employ.
The toolkit for employers can be accessed on www.tourismni.com along with a range of other supports such as a free People Health Check for employers.