Gwynedd teens set their sights on careers in North Wales tourism

The wide range of jobs on offer with a career in tourism, outdoor adventure and hospitality was highlighted in a series of events for Gwynedd teenagers.

Youngsters from Gwynedd schools were at Glanllyn today and completed team building and initiative tests. Ceri Evans,14, right, Mirain Rhys, 13and Deio Williams, 13 all from Bala fill a bucket full of holes with water.

The county has seen a massive growth in numbers employed in tourism, with 15% of the population working in the industry. Across North Wales tourism brings in £1.8bn of income and supports more than 37,000 jobs.

Business leaders also predict a further 3,000 jobs in the coming years as the region remains a must-visit destination for both UK and overseas visitors with growth markets including cruising, outdoor activities, heritage  and food tourism.

High school pupils aged 13 to 15 from across Gwynedd took part in sessions designed to show the benefits of working in tourism, outdoor adventure and hospitality.

Youngsters from Gwynedd schools were at Glanllyn today and completed team building and initiative tests. Awen Williams, 14 from Blaenau Ffestiniog with instructor Elen Evans at the blindfold event

In addition they met hoteliers, tourist attraction, hospitality and outdoor pursuit bosses and others involved in hospitality, with carousel question and answer sessions.

The One Big Adventure Career Days at Coed y Brenin, Dolgellau, and Glan-llyn, Bala, are being funded by Gwynedd Council, together with Tourism Partnership Mid Wales, and are focussing on developing talent in the area.

Youngsters from Gwynedd schools were at Glanllyn today and completed team building and initiative tests. Aled Ellis, 13 from Blaenau Ffestiniog ponders one of the tasks with some help from Andrew Thomas, 14 from Porthmadog

The Snowdonia Centre of Excellence development was funded via the Sustainable Tourism Project led by Visit Wales, the tourism department within Welsh Government and supported through the European Regional Development Fund. The Outdoor Tourism project is part funded by the Ireland-Wales Interreg IVA Programme 2007-2013.

Snowdonia Centres of Excellence coordinator Bethan Smith, who organised the events, said: “We hope to show the pupils that they can stay and work in the area through the medium of Welsh and have a successful career in the tourism industry – as instructors for outdoor pursuits on land or water, in marketing, project and business management, catering, finance or IT.

“The investment by the Centre of Excellence project has helped to create 26 jobs, with this scheme we’re now looking long-term to ensure that we can continue to attract the right workforce in years to come.

“The tourism industry has benefited substantially recently through private and public sources and this investment offers a platform for the people of Gwynedd to develop businesses in the tourism sector.”

Councillor John Wynn Jones, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for the economy and community  said: “The sessions will give pupils from Year 9 and 10 the chance to learn more about careers associated with tourism, outdoor adventure and hospitality.

“Our main aim is to show these students what amazing career opportunities are on their own doorstep. In addition, we know that for our economy to continue to flourish and our local communities to thrive, we must ensure that school leavers seriously consider tourism, hospitality and outdoor adventure as career options and so develop the skills required to meet the high standards required by visitors.”

The schools taking part included:

  • Ysgol Ardudwy, Harlech
  • Ysgol y Berwyn, Bala
  • Ysgol y  Moelwyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog
  • Ysgol Tywyn, Tywyn
  • Ysgol y Gader, Dolgellau
  • Ysgol Eifionydd, Porthmadog and
  • Ysgol Bro Ddyfi, Machynlleth.


The event included a morning of activities outdoors on site where students will be working with pupils from other schools to complete tasks that involve key skills such as communication, team building and problem solving.

Students were part of a carousel session where they will have a chance to speak to local individuals and businesses associated with the sector. As well as this there will be representatives from the local college available to answer any questions that the pupils may have.

Among the problem solving activities the youngsters took part in was filling a bucket, pierced with holes, with water from Llyn Tegid, so a plastic duck inside could float. Activity leader Tom Lloyd allowed his team, made up of pupils from all three schools, to use cups, plus a plastic box to collect the lake water.

Andrew Thomas and Abbie Hughes, both from Ysgol Eifionydd  both said that they were still trying to choose their careers. “But this has been really useful,” said Abbie.

Deio Williams from Ysgol y Berwyn, a keen rugby and football fan, said: “I am about to choose my GCSE options and this has really helped me to think about the subjects.  I’d like to work in outdoor activities, so I will probably be choosing PE.”

Mirian Rhys, also from Ysgol y Berwyn, said: “I came along because I would like to work somewhere like Glanllyn, doing outdoor activities. I’d prefer to stay somewhere local, rather than go away to work.”

Erin Jones and Cerys Jackson, both from Ysgol Moelwyn, would love to turn their hobbies – athletics, kayaking, and even water polo – into a career.  “I hadn’t realised that there were so many things you could do in tourism,” said Erin

Ysgol Eifionydd careers advisor Roger Vaughan said: “This event is really opening the children’s eyes to the possibilities of working in the local area.  They don’t always realise what’s on offer on their doorstep – they don’t have to go away to work. They are at the stage of choosing their GCSE options and so this is the perfect time for them to consider working in tourism.”

Ysgol y Berwyn teaching assistant David Edwards, who began working at the school after jobs in factories, said: “I was wish something like this had been available when I was thinking about to do as a career. I don’t think people always realise what’s available, or what it means to work in the tourism sector, so this has been really useful.”

The trip to Glanllyn brought back memories for Ysgol y Moelwyn teaching assistant  Meilir Ellis, who visited the centre as a school pupil.  “This is a great opportunity for the teenagers to make contacts in the industry, especially as they will be thinking about their work experience placements for next year,” said the former Coleg Menai student.  “Tourism is very important to areas such as Meirionydd and this will help the students think about what they do next.”

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