A staffing crisis in the tourism industry as the summer season approaches has led Fáilte Ireland to launch a €700,000 national marketing campaign aimed at recruiting retirees and parents into the industry.
‘Works for Me’ is aimed at attracting more people across all ages and demographics to jobs in tourism as a staffing shortage threatens the full return of the industry domestically for summer 2022.
A Fáilte Ireland report earlier this year estimated there were 40,000 vacancies across the sector, with a Fáilte Ireland representative described the shortage as “unprecedented”.
An Irish Independent report last weekend outlined how some businesses can only open three days per week due to staff shortages as a confidential report warned of a “triple threat” to the post-Covid recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry in Ireland.
The Tourism Advisory Group report said some tour operators are "scrambling” to find beds, but pricing is proving a major challenge, particularly around weekends, while a shortage of rental cars and staff is proving a major challenge within the industry.
The Fáilte Ireland campaign will target new demographics of potential staff, with a particular focus on retirees and parents who, according to Fáilte Ireland’s research, are seeking flexible working arrangements and patterns.
Pre-covid tourism accounted for 260,000 jobs in Ireland, generated €7.5bn annually and in some counties provided as many as one in five jobs.
Launching the campaign, Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said recruitment and skills challenges are “inhibiting the sector’s recovery”.
“There are brilliant career opportunities available across the industry at the moment, and the launch of today’s campaign will help to drive awareness of the breadth and variety of roles, as well as the flexibility and progression they can offer potential candidates.
“Tourism is a critical part of the national economy and driving the sector’s future prosperity is a key strategic priority for Fáilte Ireland. We have a comprehensive programme in place to support the industry to address both their immediate recruitment challenges as well as ensuring the sector can attract the talent and skills it needs to grow and thrive into the future,” Mr Kelly said.
The new national campaign will focus on targeting new demographics and “amplify the specific advantages and benefits” relevant to them.
Almost a third of employees say that having flexible working hours is one of the main reasons for working in tourism and hospitality, while almost half of workers outside the industry said they would consider a career in tourism and hospitality if they were offered a predictable working schedule that suits their work life balance.
Jenny de Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Sector Development said the staffing and skills shortage “is heightened as we head into the busy summer season, which is often the only time that is feasible for small businesses to operate”.
“The campaign we have devised will be key to unlocking potential staff by showcasing how working in the industry suits a wide range of lifestyles. We know that many businesses across the sector have had good success in hiring these potential employees who are looking for flexibility,” Ms de Saulles said.
A national database of live opportunities in the tourism industry is available at tourismcareers.ie.