Center Parcs has won the inaugural Great Place to Work Spotlight Series award for tourism and hospitality businesses.
The award was launched by Fáilte Ireland and Great Place to Work last year to highlight businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector that are delivering programmes to develop and invest in their staff. The winner was announced at a ceremony in Dublin having been selected by a panel of independent judges.
The Longford holiday destination, which has brought 1,000 jobs to the local area since it was opened in late 2019, stood out for ‘its authentic commitment to developing employees at all levels and giving them a platform to really get to know every part of the business’ according to Paul Hayden, Head of Tourism Careers at Fáilte Ireland.
As part of its We are Always Growing development programme, Center Parcs brought 348 mentors from its UK businesses to help train new employees in Longford. Since then, it has established a number of different training programmes to suit the needs of employees at all levels, including a formal training programme for aspiring managers. Every new employee is also given the opportunity to work and learn across all divisions of the business, in over 130 roles including administration, housekeeping, food and leisure.
Four other businesses across the country were Highly Commended in the Spotlight Series award, out of a total of 46 applications. This included PREM Group for its Engage scheme, and Dalata for its Save as You Earn scheme.
The Spotlight Series partnership with Great Place to Work is part of Fáilte Ireland’s strategy to promote careers in tourism, with growth of up to 50,000 more jobs expected over the next five years.
“Often tourism is recognised for the major economic contribution that it makes to the economy but not always for the exciting careers it can foster,” said Paul Hayden, Head of Tourism Careers at Fáilte Ireland. “Intrinsic to the success of tourism is the talent and innovation of its workforce, many of whom are on the frontline, welcoming visitors from around the world every day. There are a huge number of career options in tourism and our Spotlight Series award with Great Place to Work provides an opportunity for the industry to showcase how tourism and hospitality can offer careers that are rewarding and exciting, with significant progression opportunities.”
On winning the first Spotlight Series Award, Daragh Feighery, General Manager of Center Parcs Longford Forest, said: “We truly value our employees and recognise them as our biggest asset and as such we invest heavily in them to maintain and grow their enthusiasm and commitment to Center Parcs. This is achieved through a number of ways including unique recognition platforms, structured training and development tools, regular formal and informal engagement via regular reviews. These are aimed towards supporting personal development, retention, motivation, career advancement and overall role satisfaction.”
Cathal Divilly, Partner of the Great Place to Work Institute, said: “What struck the judges most about the submissions was the huge variety of ideas and practices that were put forward. The common thread in the majority of the submissions was the focus on nurturing the talent of staff and ensuring that they can fulfil their potential.”