As thousands of students deliberate their first round offers from the Central Application Office (CAO), the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) is encouraging young people in Laois to consider a career in tourism.
Hospitality and tourism businesses around the country are looking to recruit over 6,000 entry-level employees each year across all areas of their operations.
There is a variety of career options available through the CAO, PLC courses as well as opportunities for those who wish to start working straight from school. Areas include food and beverage; catering; accommodation services; reception; leisure centre and spa facility management; sales and marketing; human resources; IT; management and finance.
The IHF has a dedicated website, Get a Life in Tourism, supported by Fáilte Ireland, which offers comprehensive information on the many careers available in the sector and how to get stared. The website also includes personal stories that offer a realistic picture of what to expect from a career in the tourism and hospitality sector as well as some of the many courses and training schemes that are available, providing young people with valuable first-hand information to help them make their course or career choice.
Matt O’Connor, representative of the Midlands branch of the IHF commented: “Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, providing employment in every county in Ireland including Laois. It offers thousands of opportunities for young people interested in pursuing a career in tourism with enormous potential for professional development and advancement. We’re encouraging school leavers especially to explore the many options available, including the hundreds of specialist third-level courses on offer throughout the country for those interested in obtaining a recognised qualification. If you are looking for an exciting challenge, with endless career possibilities then this is the path for you.”
Tourism now supports an estimated 230,000 jobs in Ireland, equivalent to 11% of total employment. With over 60,000 new jobs created since 2011, the industry is well-positioned to create in excess of 40,000 additional jobs over the next five years.
The tourism sector in Laois supports 2,700 jobs and contributes some €37M to the local economy annually.