UK’s biggest theme park offers ‘dream’ jobs to disadvantaged young people

Disadvantaged young people have been given permanent jobs at Alton Towers Resort to help tackle youth unemployment

Alton Towers Resort welcomed a group of unemployed and disadvantaged young people to the Resort earlier this month for an employment programme in association with the Princes Trust.

Spending 4 weeks behind the scenes at Alton Towers, these apprentices learned vital customer service skills, received health and safety training and career guidance. They also carried out work placements in Hotel Food and Beverage, Housekeeping, Front Office, Park Operations, Environmental Services, Food and Beverage and Retail.

Last week, the apprentices heard the life-changing news – they had all secured permanent positions at the theme park.

“I’d moved to Stoke-on-Trent to escape an abusive relationship. I was living in a homeless shelter and feeling suicidal. Thanks to this opportunity, what I’ve achieved in just a matter of weeks is just unbelievable. I have been working at the hotels and the staff have been so encouraging, it’s been amazing. I’ve loved the atmosphere and although it can be challenging at times, everyone has been really supportive. The experience has given me so much confidence and my self-esteem has gone through the roof; I feel like myself again.” – KAYANNE BOND, EMPLOYEE

22-year-old Connor Dent, from Stafford, suffers with anxiety and depression and had spent over 2 years searching for employment with the job centre. He said: “I’m not very confident or have any confidence in my ability. Before coming on the course, I felt like I couldn’t achieve anything and was useless to my friends and family. Coming on the course was a big deal for me.

It’s been a tough few weeks, but I’ve stuck at it and I owe a lot to this course, it’s helped me come out of my social bubble and break down a lot of barriers. I am a lot more confident and I can see my problems starting to fade.”

The scheme, in association with the Princes Trust, is helping to tackle the nationwide issue of youth unemployment. Earlier this month, new figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that the number of young people with jobs has dropped by 43,000 over the past year.

The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are unemployed) for 16 to 24-year olds was 12.2% in February to April 2019. This is down from 11.5% in the previous quarter and 11.8% a year before.

The job roles include Front Office, Park Operations, Hotel Food and Beverage, Housekeeping, Environmental Services, Food and Beverage and Retail. Credit: Alton Towers

The programme at Alton Towers has reached a milestone of helping 100 young people gain employment, many of which are now employed in unique, fun roles, contributing massively to their career experience.

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