“An excellent platform to engage with students from across Northern Ireland.”

In 2018 Glagorm Resort and Spa, Northern Ireland’s premier luxury hotel and spa, exhibited for the first time at Skills Northern Ireland. In his own words, Richard McGowan, Project Manager, School of Excellence and Staff Wellness Centre at Galgorm Resort and Spa, tells us about their experience at the event and why they will be returning in 2019 to inspire even more young people to consider their career options.  

In September 2018 we launched our Galgorm Apprenticeship Programme which focused on three areas within the resort. This included Spa Therapy, Food and Beverage and Professional Cookery. We are pleased to have 16 apprentices employed with us presently and all are doing extremely well. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone wishing to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. As our company grows so does our people and we have a wide range of opportunities in all departments. 

 I was first told about Skills Northern Ireland from the careers teacher at the high school I attended. She advised me that this was the best event to attend as there was a wide range of schools in attendance. The main attraction for the careers teacher was how the students enjoyed it so much due to the amount of interaction from all the various employers. 

We set up our stand at the event with a table display of how we set up our tables within the resort. We also had an area where students could come over and speak with us, giving them the opportunity to speak with some of our passionate professionals about the resort and hospitality as an industry. 

“Skills NI is an excellent platform to engage with a vast range of students from across Northern Ireland. The whole event is based solely on careers and opportunities that are available to young people and this gives them an excellent chance to speak to employers about their chosen careers or if they are at a stage where they are unsure, they can certainly gain a vast range of information. 

“We spoke to a number of different students over the two-day event. A highlight was when we returned back to the resort on the Friday, we were really pleased to see that the Chief Digital Officer at Tourism Northern Ireland had commented on our LinkedIn post that his 14year-old had come home very excited about a career in hospitality. 

“I would highly recommend exhibiting at Skills Northern Ireland as this is an excellent platform that a wide variety of employers can showcase their industries to the young people of Northern Ireland. 

“It is important that young people are advised on the various options open to them and by attending this event gives them that opportunity.  While some young people will go on to university, this is not always the case or want for everyone. This event allows the young people to talk with employers about apprenticeships and other options open to them than just going to university.” 

Richard’s top tips to anyone exhibiting at Skills Northern Ireland for the first time in 2019:  
  1. Your stand can get very busy with the amount of students attending so ensure that you have enough employees to cover. This will mean that everyone that is interested in speaking to your organisation will have someone available to speak to.  
  2. Don’t forget the freebies to give out! 

To find out more about exhibiting at Skills Northern Ireland click here.

To find out more about the Galgorm Apprenticeship Programme visit https://www.galgorm.com/galgorm-apprentice.html