Michael Seaman, operations co-ordinator (aka Head of Having a Great Day Out) at BeWILDerwood Adventure Park, tells us why working in the world of adventure parks is for hard-working, fun and approachable people.

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Factfile

TRAVEL AND TOURISM TRAINING

This sector relies on an up-to-date and outgoing workforce. You will need to show that you can work well with other people and provide excellent service.

Jobs in these industries have very different entry requirements. Some demand specific qualifications while others require no formal qualifications. There are many courses, ranging from GCSEs, A levels and diplomas through to degrees and postgraduate qualifications. A foreign language is an advantage.

Much of the training is on the job. Many people also work towards work-related qualifications, such as NVQs or through Apprenticeships.

LOCAL TRAINING

The following colleges offer a range of full-time and part-time travel and tourism courses:

City College Norwich. 01603 773773/ www.ccn.ac.uk

Lowestoft College. 0800 854695/www.lowestoft.ac.uk

Great Yarmouth College. 01493 655261/ www.gyc.ac.uk

West Suffolk College. 01284 701301/ www.westsuffolk.ac.uk

The College of West Anglia. 01553 761144/ www.cwa.ac.uk

TIMESCALE

Full-time courses can last from one to two years.

For further information contact People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism. www.people1st.co.uk

SALARY RANGE

Salaries start from minimum wage to £16,000 depending on experience, hours and location. You may get accommodation and earn commission.

Belle Wiley

Why work for an adventure park like BeWILDerwood?

It’s a friendly environment, environmentally friendly and has traditional values. There is room within the company for growth and development, and there’s always an open ear for suggestions and ideas. We’ve often changed processes and services as a result of staff input. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, although that isn’t to say that hard work isn’t necessary. It’s an excellent experience for students, who make up a large percentage of our seasonal staff and there is a great variety of roles available: creative and dramatic roles, alongside catering, maintenance and ranger work.

What does the work involve?

Working in an adventure park involves interacting with visitors, providing excellent customer service and performing various duties throughout the park. In our case everything from boat driving, supervising the play equipment as a park ranger, to serving customers in our Ticket office, at the Grubbles’ Greeting Gate, and catering outlets. You could find yourself telling stories or taking passengers on our BeWILDerboats. We also have a variety of supervisory roles that give greater responsibility for those with more experience, such as catering supervisor, which involves looking after an area and a team of staff to ensure smooth running of the outlet, stock control, team management, food preparation, cooking and maintaining standards of cleanliness.

What are the positives/negatives of working for an adventure park?

It varies according to the park but positives here are that we are a dynamic, exciting company with future development plans. There is a lot of job satisfaction, it’s a fantastic setting and there are plenty of opportunities to grow! On the down side, it is mostly seasonal work with long hours during the summer season.

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

Norfolk has a thriving tourist scene, with the Broads and the coast bringing more and more people here on holiday; there’s a growing local demand for jobs in this sector.

What would you look for in someone applying for a job at BeWILDerwood?

For our general summer positions we look for candidates who are conscientious, punctual and prepared to learn. But you also have to be honest, fun and approachable! Some of our other positions require experience, such as our supervisory roles.

Meanwhile, we expect everyone at BeWILDerwood to be happy and smiley!

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