Fáilte Ireland Director of Sector Development, Jenny De Saulles, with Fota Island Resort Staff, Una O’Donovan, Spa Therapist; Finola Twomey, Group Director of Revenue, Sales and Marketing; Beverley Chenga, Front Office Manager, and Jola Krzanowska, Conference and Banqueting Supervisor as it was announced that Fota Island Resort has signed up to the Employer Excellence initiative. Photo: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM PHOTO

Tourism initiative to help recruit staff

It’s hoped a new initiative launched on Monday will provide tourism businesses with a competitive edge as they recruit and retain staff.

It’s the Employer Excellence initiative by Fáilte Ireland who said it is the first of its kind and will help to drive improvements in employment practices across the industry and provide businesses with tailored action plans and a trusted symbol that denotes a rewarding and appealing workplace.

Welcoming the initiative, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin has described the programme as “a step change in acknowledging businesses who make tourism a rewarding place to work and sets a new industry standard for the sector”.

Minister Martin added: “My department and Fáilte Ireland have been collaborating with industry and other Government departments to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to addressing the labour and skills shortages.

“Employer Excellence has been devised by Fáilte Ireland to help tourism businesses demonstrate their commitment to creating rewarding and appealing workplaces. This initiative is a central element of the National Tourism Development Authority’s strategy to support the industry to rebuild the staff and skills lost during the pandemic.”

According to Fáilte Ireland research, tourism businesses are making positive changes to their work practices. The latest research shows that over 70% of the businesses surveyed who are recruiting are offering increased pay while 69% are offering more stable work patterns. Fáilte Ireland’s said its Employer Excellence initiative will “build on this positive momentum”.

Participating businesses will obtain the Employer Excellence mark on completion of the programme. The mark will become a recognised trusted symbol for tourism businesses denoting a quality workplace for employees.

Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said: “All over the world, tourism is fundamentally a people business but nowhere more so than in Ireland where our greatest asset as a nation is the céad míle fáilte provided by tourism staff and businesses to our visitors. But to attract and retain the best people to work in tourism, we need to consistently ensure we provide quality workplaces.

“Our new Employer Excellence initiative has been designed to do just that. Through the initiative businesses will continuously improve their work practices to make tourism a great place to work for employees. The initiative is a key element of Fáilte Ireland’s strategy to ensure businesses can retain and attract the staff it needs immediately while also building a future pipeline of skilled employees.”

Tourism businesses can sign up to join the initiative at failteireland.ie. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees, can take part in the Employer Excellence programme from early 2023, with a bespoke process being developed.