Thinking about a career in the tourism industry? Colleges across the Liverpool City Region (LCR) will be offering students the chance to find out more next month. Now in its fourth year, ‘Visitor Economy Week’ runs from 4-7 February and will involve over 50 events. They are all designed to encourage students to consider the visitor economy as a career choice and provide a taste of what life can be like working in hospitality, retail, tourism or travel. A new addition for this year is a VE Skills Show at the launch event on the 4th at Anfield Stadium, which will give attendees a chance to meet local employers, apprenticeship providers, plus college and secondary heads. There will be demonstrations, exhibitors, hands-on activities and one-to-one talks. This will provide a unique opportunity for students to meet the people at the heart of helping them onto their career path. Events over the week include masterclasses in artisan bread making, sugar craft, cocktails, butchery and barista training. Other subjects covered are – photography, hair and beauty, graphic design and hospitality and catering. Paul Askew from the Art School and Anton Piotrowski from Roski will also be demonstrating their skills. Students will be able to experience a ‘week in the life’ at some of the best known LCR hotels including Malmaison and Hilton, and there are talks and tours of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the Radio City Tower and other LCR landmarks. The week is aimed at showcasing the variety of opportunities and diverse skills associated with a growing visitor economy sector. The colleges involved are: The City of Liverpool College, Riverside College, Hugh Baird College, Southport College, Wirral Met and St Helens and Knowsley College. Visitor Economy Week is sponsored by the LCR Apprenticeship Hub – a collaborative group aiming to increase the awareness, number and quality of apprenticeships available, Liverpool Hospitality Association (LHA) – a membership group of LCR hoteliers and restauranteurs, The Know Group – who operate The Richmond Hotel, Sleep Eat Love Hostel & Love Thy Neighbour, and Liverpool Football Cub The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) visitor economy team supports this week as part of its initiative to help skills development across the sector. They have been working with colleges and skills providers across the region to help retain employees in the sector and improve links with employers. Peter Sandman, Head of Visitor Economy at Liverpool City Region LEP, said: “Now in its fourth year, this week is a strong demonstration of the range of roles available across the tourism sector, it guides students through these options and offers practical career advice. “The local visitor economy is now worth over £4.5bn annually and supports over 53,500 jobs. Due to demand, these numbers continue to grow, which has led to improved job availability and variety across the sector.” Melanie Dodd, Skills Strategy Manager for the Apprenticeship Hub, said: “We are very excited to be supporting Visitor Economy Week for the second year, the addition of the Skills Show will see a range of exhibitors from across the city region provide advice, guidance and support to local students. They are dedicated to ensuring high quality apprenticeships are available and respected as a sound route into professional careers.” Marcus Magee, Chair of LHA, said: “The visitor economy is a critical factor in the continuing success of the Liverpool City Region’s Economy and it is vital for our sector that we are sourcing and developing the right talent to fulfil the diversity of great career opportunities that are available now and in the years ahead.” Steven Hesketh, Treasurer, LHA, commented: “The Liverpool Hospitality Association (LHA) is proud to be key sponsor for Visitor Economy Week, each year this event grows in strength and the LHA is keen to share with the region the exciting opportunities available within the industry.” For more details and a full list of events please go to www.liverpoollep.org/visitor-economy-week Pictured: Cabin Crew students from Hugh Baird College at last year’s launch.