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Fáilte Ireland Launches First Industry-Wide Transition Year Work Experience Programme

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD and Fáilte Ireland launched a new Transition Year Work Experience Programme to provide tourism and hospitality businesses with a direct link to students looking for work experience placements. The National Tourism Development Authority has developed the programme to help businesses in the sector provide structured, high quality work placements and practical training to students with the aim of encouraging more young people to consider a career choice in the industry in the long-term. Successful work placements can also lead to students securing seasonal or part-time work, helping to address staff shortages in the year ahead. Businesses can upload their work experience opportunities at

The Transition Year Work Experience Programme is one of the first initiatives launched as part of Fáilte Ireland’s multifaceted tourism careers strategy for 2022 aimed at addressing the staff and skills shortage in the tourism and hospitality industry. Further initiatives to address the industry’s immediate recruitment efforts include support focused on accessing local and international talent pools and practical supports on implementing a comprehensive recruitment strategy.  

150 businesses have already uploaded over 600 placements to Fáilte Ireland’s Work Experience Programme portal and opportunities are available in every county in the country in workplaces including 5-star hotels, outdoor and water-based activities and with some of Ireland’s top visitor attractions. The portal has been designed to connect businesses and students in one coordinated and accessible online space, allowing for students to secure last minute placements this year or plan for 2023.

Fáilte Ireland has also worked with industry bodies, HR experts, education providers and TY co-ordinators to develop detailed manuals for both students and participating businesses to ensure the placements provided are of high quality and offer practical and relevant learning opportunities. The programme is supported by a €100k marketing campaign which will run across print, social media and digital platforms.

Speaking about the programme, Minister Catherine Martin said, “I’m pleased to support this new programme from Fáilte Ireland which will empower tourism and hospitality businesses to provide structured work experience placements to Transition Year students across the country. Over the past two years, most work experience opportunities have been virtual meaning students and young people have been starved of hands-on, practical learning and the opportunity to build important social skills and confidence in a non-classroom setting. After two years of virtual learning, I’m sure teachers, parents and students will be excited by the diverse range of placements on offer through the programme”  

Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said, “Fáilte Ireland recently completed the most comprehensive piece of employment research ever conducted in the tourism and hospitality sector. This research clearly shows businesses need to take immediate action to ensure a future pipeline of talent for the industry. By getting involved in this programme and uploading a placement to Fáilte Ireland’s online portal at, not only will businesses provide a really important learning opportunity for students and invest in their next generation of staff but they can also motivate students to return as paid, flexible staff in the summer months.”   

Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Sector Development, said:, “a core focus of Fáilte Ireland’s work in the months ahead is supporting businesses to recruit the staff they need ahead of the main tourism season. Central to this is helping businesses to access key pools of talent, including students, who provide an invaluable source of staffing for our industry particularly at peak times. Tourism businesses are the backbone of many communities across Ireland, and there is a long-standing tradition of these businesses offering excellent placement opportunities. There are around 50,000 TY students out there at the moment, and they are at an age where they are beginning to look for seasonal work. Taking them on and giving them a good placement presents a brilliant opportunity for businesses to build their part-time team for both the season and years ahead”. 

Derek Dooley, Guidance Counsellor at Grennan College, Kilkenny said, “the Fáilte Ireland Transition Year Work Placement Programme is an excellent tool to allow students to connect with businesses and gain valuable work experience at workplaces across Ireland. A work experience placement can help a student by showing them the reality of the working world and help a student decide what to do in college and adult life. A well-structured work experience provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their own development and to interact with individuals engaged in a variety of disciplines in the workplace. A student will never forget a good placement where they were treated with respect and learned a lot about a job, and they will likely be the future recruits these businesses seek out in the short and longer term.”  

Source: Fáilte Ireland

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