visitor economy

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.

Kickstart

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

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.”

Van Dyk

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.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , , , , ,

Chesterfield Escape Rooms celebrates official opening

Chesterfield Escape Rooms has officially opened to the public, after the highly-anticipated visitor attraction was given the green light by the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

There are a number of games to choose from at the venue, with the aim of solving the puzzles and escaping the room before the time runs out.

An official ribbon cutting was carried out on Monday (17th May) by Chesterfield’s mayor, Cllr Glenys Falconer who enjoyed a game of ‘Rob The Bank’ during her visit.

Nick Hogan, owner of Chesterfield Escape Rooms said: “It’s been a few months in the planning but it has finally happened, we’re open for business! Our original objective was to put a smile back on the face of Chesterfield and give the town centre a new focus and I think we have achieved it.

“We are only small cog in the amazing amount of positive activity taking place around the town, but nevertheless the feedback we are getting from the games is fantastic.”

The Escape Rooms now employs 15 staff on a mixture of permanent, Kickstart and casual contracts. They are all trained to ensure customers feel safe and enjoy their experience.

Nick continued: “What i have loved so far is watching teams from the Games Masters area, having fun. To see people together, smiling, laughing, joking and having fun has made the setting up of the business worthwhile. Our social reviews on trip advisor, Facebook and Google have been unbelievable and testament to the pride and hard work that all of the team put in to each game.”

“So many people i have spoken to have advised they have never played or even considered playing an escape room but have decided to support the business and give it a go. The very same people are the ones I love watching the most. One lady, who, in reception asked lots of questions due to her lack of understanding, was seen doing a full on fist pump when she solved her first clue!!”

“We really want our customers to embrace our different themes and experience all of the games and wow are some of them competitive! We have launched a set of monthly leader boards which are advertised in reception, starting the concept of being an ‘Escape Room Legend’ to get into our all-time Hall of Fame! A player must have successfully completed all three games to enter!”

To find out more about Chesterfield Escape Rooms and book your visit, head to http://www.chesterfieldescaperooms.co.uk/ or email info@chesterfieldescaperooms.co.uk

Chesterfield Escape Rooms supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Digitalisation Grants of up to £10,000 available for Derbyshire visitor economy businesses

Visitor economy businesses based in Derbyshire are being encouraged to apply for digitalisation grants of up to £10,000 to enable them to adapt, recover and rebuild in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire is offering business grants to support the development of valuable digital assets such as online booking systems, updated websites and cashless payment facilities to help businesses respond to changes in consumer behaviour.

The grants programme is part of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire’s European Regional Development Fund project, which has been updated to reflect new business needs that have emerged as a result of Covid-19.

Alongside digitalisation, grants of £1,000 to £10,000 are also available in the following areas:

  • Accessibility – e.g. accessible equipment and facilities for people with disabilities.
  • Cycling – e.g. secure cycle storage and maintenance equipment for use by visitors.
  • Internationalisation – e.g. website translation or the implementation of online booking/cashless payment systems to encourage international visitors.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer these valuable business grants through our European Regional Development Fund project. Derbyshire’s tourism industry is facing some of its biggest-ever challenges and this funding will play a key role in helping businesses to adapt and diversify in response to new consumer trends.

“Digital assets such as cashless payment systems and online booking facilities are going to be vital in driving the sector’s recovery and helping businesses to get back on their feet. We’ve already received a huge amount of interest and we’re urging eligible businesses to get their applications in as soon as possible.”

Businesses applying for the funding must meet the following criteria:

  • Be part of the visitor economy, including sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.
  • Be located in Derbyshire.
  • Have less than 250 employees.
  • Have been trading for more than 12 months.
  • Have a business bank account.

Successful applicants will receive a 50% grant towards the cost of the overall project, with a minimum 50% grant contribution being £1,000 and the maximum £10,000.
To find out more and to register interest for a grant visit: https://mpddbusinessgrantscheme.eventbrite.co.uk.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

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