Michael Lennon president IHF and Tim Fenn chief executive IHF
As Leaving Cert students across the country deliberate their choices ahead of the CAO deadline on 1st February, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) is encouraging young people in Donegal to consider a career in the tourism and hospitality sector, one of Ireland’s most successful industries.
The IHF has created a dedicated website, Get a Life in Tourism, supported by Fáilte Ireland, which offers comprehensive information on the many careers available and how to get started as well as the various courses available in Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
A free print Get a Life in Tourism magazine is also being published, which will be distributed to over 700 second-level schools, including those in Donegal.
In addition to courses available through the CAO, Get a Life in Tourism provides details on a variety of career options accessible through PLC courses as well as opportunities for those who wish to start working straight from school. Every year, the hospitality and tourism businesses around the country recruit over 6,000 entry-level employees across all areas of their operations. These include food and beverage; catering; accommodation services; reception; leisure centre and spa facility management; sales and marketing; human resources; IT; management and finance.
Paul Diver (pictured above), Chair of the Donegal branch of the IHF said: “Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, providing employment in every county in Ireland including Donegal. 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, from ‘earn and learn’ chef programmes through to the wide selection 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 tourism and hospitality is the path for you.”
Get a Life in Tourism features personal stories from young people already working in tourism and hospitality that offer a realistic picture of what to expect from a career in the sector, providing young people with valuable first-hand information to help them make their course or career choice.
The tourism and hospitality sector in Donegal supports 7,500 jobs and contributes some €213m to the local economy annually. Tourism now supports an estimated 266,000 Jobs in Ireland, over 70% of which are outside Dublin. Tourism created over 94,000 new jobs since 2011.