Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with two of the county’s leading tourism businesses to help address the employment shortage in the industry.

Alongside the Inn Collection and the Mountain Goat Tour Company, Cumbria Tourism delivered a series of 90-minute careers sessions to pupils aged 11 to 15 at John Ruskin School in Coniston.

This is part of Cumbria Tourism’s ongoing recruitment campaign due to the urgent staff shortages in the tourism and hospitality industries.

The sessions got students involved in designing a menu for a pub which they named as well as creating a logo.

Then they came up with Mountain Goat’s next sightseeing tour, taking in viewpoints, attractions and lunch stops.

Ian Walker, the deputy headteacher of John Ruskin School, said it have the pupils a real insight into the range of employment opportunities the tourist industry offers: “The interactive sessions with practical activities really made the students think about all the skills involved in providing services and experiences for tourists.

“By using authentic voices and industry experts, the students are now fully aware of the opportunities that exist on their doorsteps.

“It is great to think that local industries could now benefit from the talents of our students.

“Thanks to the input from Cumbria Tourism and all the employers they were able to engage in the day, our students are now more informed about the choices they can make about their futures when they leave (the school).”

Rachel Tyson, head of partnerships and projects at Cumbria Tourism added: “With Brexit, the Covid pandemic and the county’s ageing population many businesses are recruiting from a shrinking pool of applicants, so we’ve been working hard on a number of initiatives to encourage more young people to join our industry.

“We are working closely with businesses, alongside local schools and colleges throughout the county, to educate the younger generation about long-term career opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry.

“There are often many misconceptions about working in tourism and sessions like the one at John Ruskin School help show the incredible opportunities that are available in Cumbria.”

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