Virtual Tourism Doors Open for Blackpool Youth by S4S

Speakers for Schools opens virtual doors to tourism for young people in Blackpool

As February half term ends, many students took a welcome break from their home-schooling schedules. But not students at Blackpool and The Fylde College, after weeks of learning from home, Blackpool’s students stood out from over 300 applications to get their spot at the insight days held by educational equality charity Speakers for Schools.

Blackpool is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destination and while the impact of COVID-19 is still being felt, Blackpool and The Fylde College is keen to see its students succeed. So VisitBritain was the perfect work experience for Kaitlyn and Emily-Jayne to learn from the national tourism agency and ignite their interest in working in the tourism sector. Eight schools in the North West took part in VisitBritian’s virtual work experience. VisitBritain plays a unique role in raising Britain’s profile worldwide and developing the nation’s visitor economy. As the tourism sector begins to recover from the impact of COVID-19, VisitBritain is already looking ahead at the next generation of talent.

Speakers for Schools calls on more employers in the North West to open their virtual doors to young people. Virtual work experience allows leading businesses to connect with young inquiring minds and to introduce careers they may not have previously considered. Speakers for Schools’ partnership with VisitBritain has opened up 250 placement opportunities for young people across the UK.

Feedback from the week-long experience has been overwhelmingly positive from the Blackpool and The Fylde College students. Kaitlyn,  said “I enjoyed learning about the business of VisitBritain and doing the tasks set. The thing that surprised me most about it was all the different roles involved.” Emily-Jayne, added “I enjoyed the different activities within the social media side of the work experience and the advice I would give to people is that if you get the chance to do it then do it as it is a really good opportunity for someone to do.”

VisitBritain HR Director Debra Lang said: “We are delighted to be working with Speakers for Schools to provide an insight into the tourism industry as we share our knowledge and enthusiasm for a sector that supports millions of jobs and local economies right across the country.

“We were so impressed with the young people we worked with virtually over the week as they engaged whole-heartedly in all the activities. As well as broadening their life skills we hope that this opportunity to learn about the industry may inspire and pave the way for more young people to consider a future career in tourism.”

Beverley Pilkington, Curriculum Manager at Blackpool and The Fylde College said: “This is an excellent opportunity to raise the aspirations of our students through engagement with employers to inspire the next generation.”

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director, Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub said: “We are delighted that B&FC students engaged with the VisitBritain insight, we are looking forward to working in partnership with Speakers for School in Lancashire enabling more young people to benefit from virtual employer insights and work experience boosting, their aspirations and enhancing their careers experiences during this challenging time.  We are seeking to engage more local employers to engage and help develop the approach.”

Employers, schools and young people can get involved in work experience here.