Young people in West Wales start careers in tourism

Seventeen young people from West Wales are currently receiving training and work experience in Pembrokeshire’s vital tourism sector through an initiative led by one of the region’s largest employers.

Up to thirty young people aged 16 to 24 will ultimately benefit from the UK government’s Kickstart program run by Bluestone National Park Resort near Narberth, with the management of the resort praising the hard work and determination so far that individuals have put into their roles.

The program is part of the Bluestone Academy, an initiative set up by the short-term complex to support employment and career opportunities in West Wales. Kickstart, in collaboration with JobCentre Plus, aims to place unemployed youth with universal credit and at risk of long-term unemployment in a workplace training course.

At the end of their experience, they can apply for a job at Bluestone. They also benefit from free transportation to and from work with other employees. This helps reduce barriers to access to work for many people.

“Many of these young people did not have the chance to demonstrate their abilities in a work environment for various reasons” said Helen John, Academy Manager at Bluestone.

“Kickstart gives them the opportunity to undertake a structured six-month work and training program, giving them a glimpse of the opportunities available to them now and in the future. “

“We were amazed by the enthusiasm and professionalism that many of these young people showed during their stay with us. It showed how many young people can find themselves in the midst of employment gaps.

Molly, who joined the program in July, has previously been offered a job at the resort’s Well Spa as a therapist.

“I would never have considered a role like this before. As soon as I started working here, I realized it was something I loved and wanted to do as a job,” Molly said. “The experience wouldn’t have been possible without Bluestone, and I wouldn’t be in the fortunate position I am now with a full-time job to look forward to.”

Bluestone offers training and experience in a wide range of careers. These include sustainability, IT, marketing, customer service, maintenance, recreation, hospitality and retail.

Oscar worked in the Food and Beverage department. Often in a fast-paced environment, his personality and nature have helped him gain the admiration of his colleagues and resort guests.

His entire department named him Employee of the Month because of positive customer feedback.

“I like to do business and talk to people. The training and experience I have gained has opened my eyes to the range of jobs that I can do and enjoy, while still being paid. I have never had such an opportunity before ”, Oscar said.

Helen said the Kickstart program has been extended until March 2022 with additional funding from the UK government and that we plan to employ two more youth cohorts before that deadline.

She added:

“We believe their education and work experience will benefit tourism and hospitality businesses in West Wales and give so many young people the opportunity for an exciting and rewarding career.”

More details on careers at Bluestone, including opportunities through the Bluestone Academy and the Kickstart program, are available at

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