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Hospitality Jobs Awareness

A new initiative is being launched to raise awareness of the wide range of career opportunities to be found in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors.

There are already more than 100,000 people working in those fields in Devon.Now 'Ambassadors', who have already started successful careers in these sectors, will be visiting schools and colleges to describe their working lives and inspire youngsters to consider such careers.

A pilot for the county-wide scheme ran during 2007 and so the existing Ambassadors will be sharing their experiences with new recruits as the scheme launches.

Ambassadors are given an intensive training course on presentation skills and schools and colleges can then book a visit by a local Ambassador for their students. The project aims to have 50 trained Ambassadors each making one or two visits to their local school or college by summer 2008.

Project manager Rosie Bates of the Devon Tourism Skills Network explained what students can expect to get out of the visits.

"Students can have preconceived ideas about careers in these sectors so they tend to be really surprised to hear about the wide range of jobs that could potentially be their future careers. It's also fun for them to hear some of the challenges and triumphs that our Ambassadors have experienced in their early careers."

One of the new Ambassadors, Izzy Warren from Paignton Zoo, is looking forward to being involved. "I am really keen to support this project as it gives me a chance to tell others about my work and how much I enjoy it. My role is diverse, exciting and every day is different.

"The Zoo employs up to 250 people so the career development opportunities are really attractive. I have achieved several qualifications and promotions in the last four years, exceeding my original expectations."

Top employers from across the county are supporting the project, recognising that they need to ensure that potential future employees gain a good understanding of opportunities within these sectors.

The Ambassadors also benefit from free training in a set of skills that will be invaluable as their career progresses.

Ambassadors are still being recruited for the spring training events so interested individuals or their employers can contact the project office on or visit to find out more.

Schools and colleges can arrange Ambassador visits by contacting the project office or browsing through the relevant resources online.


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