The Visitor Economy: a sector with a growing number of career opportunities
The visitor economy is an exciting sector which offers a diverse range of job roles. The sector covers events, hospitality, accommodation, tourist services and visitor attractions. You can find out more about the sector on the My Future careers platform.
Chesterfield not only attracts local residents, but also visitors from further afield with visitor spend currently supporting over 2,000 jobs in the local area. As lockdown restrictions are set to be eased, this number is expected to rise and the opportunity for further vacancies to be created in the visitor economy.
Alongside this growing sector, apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular and a great route to get into the industry. We are also seeing more companies in this sector committing to the Kickstart Programme, to create vacancies and more opportunities for unemployed individuals across the Chesterfield borough, which potentially lead to apprenticeships.
The Kickstart Scheme is an employment programme designed to help young adults who are unemployed develop their skills and get into work. It provides young adults a six-month job placement to gain valuable work experience to benefit their future.
The Devonshire Group including Chatsworth and the wider estate operations has created a range of exciting Kickstart placements. Including gardeners, farmyard and adventure playground assistant, drystone waller, collections assistant and commis chef. You can find out more on this here.
Chesterfield Escape Rooms, a new addition to the Chesterfield visitor economy, has also committed to the scheme by hiring Kickstart employees. In the video below, Nick Hogan Manager at Chesterfield Escape Rooms, explains from an employers perspective the benefits of Kickstart. More from Nick on the Kickstart Scheme can be found in Destination Chesterfield’s podcast here.
Apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining qualifications whilst getting real life work experience and being paid for it.
There are plenty of great examples in Chesterfield of individuals developing careers in the visitor economy through apprenticeships.
Chesterfield Borough Council
Rebecca Hurd, Venues Assistant Premises Manager, undertook a Level 3 Team Leader apprenticeship course to gain a qualification and skills in management.
“I started with the venues in 2017 as a Duty Manager after many years managing in the licenced trade. I’d always had a keen interest in the arts and had some experience years ago and did a degree in media performance. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the people.
In 2018, I was successful in getting the role of Assistant Premises Manager within the venues team at Chesterfield Borough Council.” This is when Rebecca started her Team Leader apprenticeship to gain management experience.
Rebecca had to work through the Covid pandemic when lots of things changed within her role. She said: “My apprenticeship course helped me to adapt to very strange new times. In March 2020, venues were severely impacted by the pandemic. I ploughed on with my course and when the NHS came to the Winding Wheel to use it as a vaccine centre, I was able to transfer some of my management skills to a very new and different role.
The Pomegranate has now reopened, and we are awaiting to see what the next steps are for us to open fully, but for the time being I’m staying with the Winding Wheel and the NHS as we now have to wind that operation down and move forward with reopening as a venue again.
It’s been tough and I’m glad that we’ve been able to provide this for the NHS but it’s been no easy task. Having my new skillset from the course has really helped me to adapt at sometimes a very quick pace.”
Lucy is a Guest Services Assistant at Van Dyk by Wildes, her apprenticeship involves her working in the main department of the hotel dealing with check ins, reservations and enquiries for the bedrooms, restaurant, and events.
“Every day is different, and every day I learn something new. I always wanted to work in hospitality, and was presented with this amazing opportunity with a great company. I enjoy being a smiley, well dressed and presented person and the apprenticeship suited me perfectly. I enjoy working to a high standard as well as being myself when greeting guests – it is a job I take a lot of pride in doing well as well as the presentation of the hotel and its lobby. Its everything I enjoy.”
Lucy undertook an apprenticeship to gain on the job experience to benefit her future career. She said: “I think for a job like this, it’s really good to get the experience. I have learnt the skills I need for the job whilst also getting the experience I need for my CV. If I was to study this job in education, I would be learning the knowledge I would need, but not the skills I need on the job.
When I first started my apprenticeship, I was not as confident as I am now, I am happy to talk to our guests and can usually deal with any problems, or questions guests have as I now have that experience.”
Lucy has ambitions to peruse a career as a manager. She said: “The main reason I wanted an apprenticeship was because of the career I want; I enjoy it so much that I want to be a Reception Manager or Front Office Manager. I want to use what I have learned to be able to progress to a higher position.”
If you are interested in a career in this sector, check out the current apprenticeship vacancies here.
You can also get careers support through a range of free workshops delivered by Derbyshire County Council here.