On Friday, 2 December, students from South East Technological University’s Wexford Campus received their Regional Tourist Guide award in the beautiful surrounds of the Flag Hall in Johnstown Castle.
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. Maura Bell presented the students of SETU’s Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Event Management degree with their awards. The students, who are SETU's first ever Fáilte Ireland recognised tourist guides are Adele Mahon, Agata Oblak, Antonio Pandolfi, Eve Redmond, Fanni Gal, Frieda Harkin, Mollie Fortune, Oskar Czajka and Sarah Foley.
A unique aspect of SETU’s Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Event Management is that students who have completed year 2, receive their Regional Tourist Guide award as an integral part of completing the degree programme. The degree is a full-time course on the Wexford Campus and in addition to the tourist guide training, it includes a variety of industry focused modules, an industry work placement and an option to study abroad for a semester. The degree course prepares graduates for full-time work in the fast growing and dynamic tourism and event management industries.
Emmet Stafford, SETU lecturer on the programme commented that, “It is vital that our students are work ready, up to one in five jobs in the region are in the tourism sector and this Regional Tourist Guide Award gives them the necessary skill sets to avail of these brilliant job opportunities”.
When the programme was developed in 2015, Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Maura Bell consulted with the programme team as an industry expert in the area of tourism. Mayor Bell was delighted to see the programme come to fruition and validated by the need for graduates in this field,
“I am delighted for the students and staff of SETU here today. This award is very timely as Fáilte Ireland have just launched a careers portal to address staff shortages in the tourism industry and to also highlight the exciting and dynamic career opportunities that it offers.”
Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, the students worked hard to fulfil the requirements of their tour guide training and have completed industry familiarisation trips throughout the south east. They are now registered on Fáilte Ireland’s database of qualified tour guides and are prepared for employment at state heritage sites, in the tourism and event sectors or in their own entrepreneurial enterprises. The current staff shortages in the tourism and event sector means the future is bring for these graduates in terms of job opportunities.
Fanni Gal, a recipient of the award summed up its value when she said,
“Receiving the Irish tourist guiding badge is really meaningful to me. It means that although I have come from a different culture, I now have the knowledge and skills to show this beautiful country to other people and make them as enthusiastic about the Irish culture as I am.”
Also present at the ceremony were Dr Karen Hennessy, Head of Campus, SETU Wexford, Emmet Stafford, lecturer, Edmund Joyce and Julie Mulligan, both programme directors of the Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Event Management degree.
Caption: SETU students who received their Regional Tourist Guide award are pictured here with Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Maura Bell, Dr Karen Hennessy, Head of Campus, SETU Wexford, Emmet Stafford, lecturer, Edmund Joyce and Julie Mulligan, both programme directors of the BSc in Tourism and Event Management degree.