Employing & training staff

Enthusiasm. Commitment. Smiles. Tourism thrives on customer service, so hiring staff members who fit with your style of business is vital.

Hiring staff

When it comes to taking on employees, there are a number of things to consider:

  • What can you afford to pay? Some people will be happy to work for the minimum wage, but offering an attractive salary or benefits could help reduce staff turnover and improve loyalty.
  • Are you looking for a temporary or seasonal employee, or someone who can grow with your business?
  • Is attitude more important than skills and qualifications?
  • What do you need your staff member to do? Be realistic about your expectations  – if you want to hire a cleaner, would you also expect them to be able to deal directly with customer complaints?
  • What qualities are you looking for? What you need will differ if they’re interacting with customers or working quietly behind the scenes.
  • How will you assess a candidate for the role? Will you perform an interview in person, have a phone conversation, use formal testing or role-playing scenarios?
  • Where will you find them? As well as specialised recruitment websites, colleges often require placements for their students, or you could consider taking on an apprentice, which can be easier than you think. The National Apprenticeship Service can provide funding to help. 96% of employers that take on an apprentice have reported benefits to their business.

Read legislation concerning employees, including information on working hours and migrant workers, in the Pink Book Online


Hiring apprentices

Apprentices are aged 16 or over and combine working with studying for a work-based qualification.

Research shows that 96% of small and medium-sized businesses have found benefits due to employing apprentices, with 72% reporting improved product or service quality. To find out more about how apprenticeships can benefit your business, visit www.getingofar.gov.uk/employer.

If you are a small or medium-sized business, you may be able to access funding towards providing apprenticeships, with a new funding system in place from May 2017. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be able to access 100% of the training costs for 16-18 year old apprentices. For more information, read the publication ‘Apprenticeship funding from May 2017’ on the Gov.uk website.


a costumed staff member giving a tourCustomer service training

If you want to improve your customer service, learn how to communicate with different audiences and really focus on your customer experience, consider a training programme for you and/or your team.

Experiencing a training course and improving your skills can help you to:

  • Excel in providing a quality customer experience
  • Stand out from your competitors
  • Attract high quality employees  and motivate your team
  • Exceed customer expectations
  • Gain a fresh perspective on your welcome
  • Improve your welcome to disabled guests

You can choose to attend a standard course or work with a training provider to create a bespoke course tailored to your individual business.


With our support, People 1st developed WorldHost customer service training for the UK market and the programme was used successfully in the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Training includes modules such as Principles of Customer Service, Customers with Disabilities, Service Across Cultures and Ambassador Workshops. Businesses also have the opportunity to be nationally recognised as having world-class customer service under the WorldHost Recognition Programme.

Welcome to Excellence

Welcome to Excellence is a comprehensive suite of short customer service training courses with a high impact. Programmes cover a range of topics, including:

  • Welcome Host
  • Welcome Host Plus
  • Welcome Host Gold
  • Delivering Service Excellence
  • Welcome All
  • Welcome International
  • Welcome Line
  • Lead, Motivate and Succeed
  • Welcome Management
  • Green Edge
  • Win More Conferences & Events
  • Welcoming Walkers and Cyclists

Participants of the Welcome Host Gold course also have the added benefit of gaining a City and Guilds qualification. A range of local destination welcome programmes are also available. 

Please note that these training programmes are included as they are available nationwide. There may be other suppliers that offer a comparable service and there are other programmes available at a local level.