Some parts of the leisure and hospitality industry, such as leisure centres and gyms, are doing reasonably well. Other areas, such as hotels, are still suffering the after-effects of terrorism in the USA and the fear of terrorism - meaning fewer tourists are coming here. On the other hand, because the economy has been good, people are eating out more and taking more weekends breaks. Compared with many countries, prices tend to be high but recently a number of foreign hotel chains have been opening here which offer cheaper accommodation. There’s also been the rise of luxury hotels (and luxury gyms). This means a great variety of job options are available.
With people generally taking more care over their appearance than ever before, this industry has a heavy demand for helping people look good and enjoy their lives.
What does Leisure and hospitality involve?
Leisure and hospitality covers a range of things - holiday homes and hotels, adventure parks or places like Butlins where holiday makers are provided with a wide range of daily activities, leisure centres and gyms, and can cover many businesses that provide leisure time for its customers - restaurants, cinemas, even hairdressers and such. A lot of roles will require dealing with customers on a day to day basis, especially, but not limited to, those working on reception. In the leisure side of things, personal fitness is likely to be tested, not to mention the ability to stay calm under pressure.
Why should I apply for a career in Leisure and hospitality?
A career in leisure or hospitality gives a wide range of job opportunities and allows for a lot of personal development due to the close working relationship workers are likely to build with clients, as well as their colleagues.
Training and Applicants
Work-related qualifications are expected for areas like hairdressing, beauty therapy and gyms and leisure centres. They're also helpful for potential chefs, but it's possible to learn on the job. For many jobs, especially in hotels and restaurants, people skills can be more important than qualifications. Trainee management positions often require degrees but relevant experience from part time or summer jobs is also important.
As you'd expect, communication skills are absolutely vital in most roles within these sectors as they are likely to involve a good deal of direct customer interaction. Some competence with maths is also likely to be a bonus in a number of roles.
What opportunities are available within the sector?
Opportunities are extremely varied. Within the hotel industry, for instance, you could work on reception, in the kitchen or restaurant, behind the scenes in management, in housekeeping, the list is endless. In leisure there are opportunities for personal trainers and instructors, lifeguards, and such roles.
Many jobs have long and unsocial hours but self-employment is possible (though, if you’re running your business, hours will still be long!)
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Training In order to work you have to gain your NPLQ (National Pool Lifeguard Qualification) I went on an intensive five-day course which cost about £200. (The cost of the course is paid back within your first few weeks of part time work) You can do it over a couple of weekends but I found the intensive course was really good as you had no chance of forgetting anything! Although it is VERY intensive, studying 9am to 5pm and slightly later on exam day. I had theory based work everyday alongside pool based work. There is no written examination, it's all verbal and you have to show your skills you have acquired both on dryside and in the water. The training doesn't stop there!! You have to renew your license every two years and must have completed 20 hours of training within that two years. The easiest way to do this is to get employed, even if it's on a part-time basis, as your employer should hold monthly training sessions.
Do you enjoy the job? I love it - you get to work with great people, it keeps you on your toes and the pay is great!! It also looks good on Uni applications as you have had to gain a qualification in order to do that job.
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