As businesses prepare for a busy summer season, Cumbria’s official destination management organisation (DMO) is working to showcase the opportunities available within the industry.
Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the county’s super-aging population have led to a perfect storm, with many businesses now looking to recruit from a shrinking pool of applicants. However, the industry is offering amazing opportunities for employees of all ages and backgrounds, and Cumbria Tourism is showcasing these through case study interviews with workers from across the county.
For those looking to start a career, a summer job offers the chance to develop new skills alongside earning money and making new friends. Joseph Varden is currently working at the Newby Bridge Hotel on everything from hot tub maintenance to gardening to housekeeping after completing his GCSE year.
“It’s hard work but it’s worth it. It’s very important for people my age I think to be making money because it means you have a bit more freedom when it comes to stuff like wanting to buy a car. It’s helped me boost confidence from meeting new people and also to make new friends with lots of other people of different ages.”
Hospitality is a truly meritocratic career path, evidenced by Joseph’s colleague Amylea Wilson who, at the age of just 23 has already risen to the position of Duty Manager. Alongside on the job experience, Amylea’s employer has invested in her training, supporting her through her first year of college and allowing her to study for a degree with the University of Cumbria whilst working.
“Employers really do value their staff” says Gill Haigh, Cumbria Tourism Managing Director, which is leading on the countywide campaign. “They’re prepared to support them to receive the training they need to provide the best possible service for our visitors, We work very closely with the University of Cumbria who are currently offering fantastic scholarship opportunities for their Tourism Management MBA – and with the university recently ranked the fifth best in the country for producing CEOs and MDs there are real opportunities for advancement”.
Cumbria’s tourism industry isn’t just investing in its youth, the sector also welcomes staff looking to relocate from outside the county. Leigha Dixon is Assistant Manager at BAHA in Bowness and originally from Preston.
“I’ve been in hospitality since I was 18 and decided to come to the Lake District to broaden my horizons within the industry – I’ve been here just over two years and I’ve not looked back.
“A lot of venues offer staff accommodation so that was a really big help to start with. It really helped me socialise with people, meet people especially people our age. I lived there for about four months and then looked for my own place and have been in a shared house now for just over two years.
“The work-life balance is really good – I do my contracted hours and I still have time for myself or to see family or exercise up the fells. In the Lake District it’s a lot more chilled, it’s not as rushed. I feel that when you’re walking down the streets people are a lot happier.”
“Joseph, Amylea and Leigha are just three examples of the huge variety of opportunities available” continues Gill Haigh. “Whether you’re looking to take that first step on the career path, develop your skills through experience and qualifications, or relocate for greater opportunities and a better work-life balance Cumbria is the perfect place to live, work and play.
“These inspiring case studies are just a part of our wider recruitment campaign, designed to showcase not only the vacancies available but also the benefits of living and working within some of the most beautiful landscapes in the county.”
Video interviews with Joseph, Amylea and Leigha, alongside others, are available to watch at www.cumbriatourism.org/recruitment.
Those looking for their next challenge can browse available vacancies at www.visitlakedistrict.com/jobs