As an urgent response to the acute staffing crisis now threatening the post-pandemic recovery of Cumbria’s visitor economy, Cumbria Tourism is stepping up its recruitment marketing campaign to bring fresh faces into the industry.
Latest figures from the county’s Destination Management Organisation reveal that 68% of businesses now say recruitment of staff is a significant problem, despite businesses taking steps such as increasing salaries and benefits, improving shift patterns and offering accommodation.
The impact of Brexit, staff moving on during the pandemic and many businesses hiring at the same time are among the key factors.
As part of #theperfectplacetobe campaign, Cumbria Tourism has already been promoting the county as ‘the perfect place’ not only to visit, but also as a more permanent base to build a life and career.
It’s now building on this momentum – and its well-established job vacancies page at visitlakedistrict.com – to help inspire both locals and people from further afield to take up tourism and hospitality jobs in the world-famous Lake District and wider Cumbria.
The campaign is focussed on three main groups: 16-18 year olds (school leavers, college leavers and gap year students), along with visitors from out of county looking for long-term lifestyle changes and other local audiences including the semi-retired and residents living in more urban areas who may not have considered jobs in the Lakes.
Key activity will include a range of digital and social media content, alongside a series of free webinars for businesses, media relations and high-level lobbying to bring wider attention to the issue. There will also be a ‘toolkit’ for businesses including practical advice and marketing materials to help them actively support the campaign and, in turn, increase the number of people choosing the Lake District, Cumbria as #theperfectplacetowork.
Commenting on the campaign, Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director Gill Haigh says, “The beauty of this sector is just how much diversity we have to offer, whether that’s what you do, where you do it and how you do it. Full time, part time, working front of house or behind the scenes, there are so many incredible career opportunities right here in this stunning county for people of all ages and backgrounds.
“We know there will be lots of students finishing university looking for work or a gap year experience. Where better than the Lake District Cumbria – with many businesses offering accommodation, good rates of pay, lots of additional perks. Plus you get to meet lots of new people, learn new skills, build your experience portfolio and live the dream that is having this stunning, exciting and invigorating world class backdrop on your doorstep.
“We also know that the impact of the pandemic has left many people re-evaluating their work life-balance and where they live. The Lake District Cumbria offers that balance in bucketloads, with some absolutely brilliant jobs in tourism, leisure, culture, food and drink, outdoor education, as well as supporting professions such as marketing, HR, legal and finance. We will also seek to harness people’s post-pandemic mindset: to find their own space and maintain physical/mental balance both in and out of work.
She adds, “A common misconception is that this is a low paid sector with unsociable shifts. The truth is that there are not just great salaries but additional benefits and a whole range of flexible work patterns. My favourite thing about this sector is it doesn’t matter where you start. If you set your stall out and are good at what you do, the sky really is the limit.”
Chair of Lake District Hotel Association, Ben Mayou, adds, “Recruitment is currently a significant challenge across all the hotels and attractions in our association. There is a stigma attached to working in hospitality in that it’s just a stop gap until something better comes along. I challenge anybody to find an industry that offers the range of roles that can be found in a hotel environment along with the flexibility of shifts.
“Even for those who don’t intend to work in the industry for their entire career the social skills that can be learnt are transferable into any sector. Having moved to the North West in 2003 as a Trainee Manager I am myself evidence that there are countless opportunities to develop a rewarding and successful career whilst making a home in this beautiful part of the world.”
Any Cumbria-based tourism and hospitality business can register their job vacancies on Cumbria Tourism’s FREE jobs listing by completing our form HERE.