Launched just a year ago, the programme offers Transition Year students a chance to gain ‘real-world experience’ in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Almost 200 businesses have multiple placements on offer through the programme, across a range of tourism activities, including a weaving apprenticeship with Beth Moran Handweaver, in Co. Mayo, a tour guide apprenticeship in Glasnevin Cemetery, and tour guide and grooming work in the Killarney Riding Stables.
Fáilte Ireland noted that these local businesses offer work experience for students, as well as an opportunity to learn skills for life, such as developing confidence and people skills.
Students who participate in the programme may also have the opportunity to secure part-time employment, with 80% of the businesses hosting a work experience last year offering part-time positions to students following the successful completion of their placement.
“A core focus for Fáilte Ireland is to assist tourism businesses in their recruitment efforts while also encouraging young people to consider the wealth of options available through a career in the industry,” said Sharon Balmaine, head of tourism careers, Fáilte Ireland.
“The Fáilte Ireland Transition Year Work Placement Programme serves as an invaluable tool, facilitating the connection between students and businesses, enabling them to gain valuable experience in workplaces throughout the country.”
Following the launch of the work experience portal on TourismCareers.ie last year, Fáilte Ireland noted that the Transition Year Work Placement Programme was met with ‘overwhelming positivity’, particularly by parents of the participants.
The tourism experts said that parents have highlighted how helpful the programme’s work experience database has been in reducing the stress of securing a Transition Year work placement for their children, and how it has encouraged students to broaden their horizons and look further afield when it comes to choosing their work experience opportunities.
‘My Career Is Developing’
“I couldn’t be any more grateful for the experience I gained during my work experience placement, thanks to the work experience portal,” said student Glen Masterson, from Luttrellstown Community College.
“After all, my experience did not stop there, as my career is developing constantly in Clayton Hotel Charlemont [Dalata Hotel Group], and I look forward to continuing my career in tourism and hospitality for many years to come, and continuing into third-level education!”