Call to Recruit Blue Badge Guides

Posted 4th March 2012
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The search is on to find the next generation of Blue Badge* Tourist Guides to share Liverpool’s fascinating story with visitors from across the world.

The programme is being co-ordinated by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (Liverpool LEP), and people with a real passion for the destination are being invited to register their interest.

Organisers want to hear from candidates who feel they could be a strong ambassador for the City Region and share their enthusiasm with visitors from across the globe.

The Blue Badge is the internationally recognised benchmark of excellence in tourist guiding, which is accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding (ITG).

The last training programme for Blue Badge Tourist Guides in Liverpool was 16 years ago, so this is a rare opportunity to get involved.

Successful candidates will study an extensive range of topics including history, architecture, geography, religion, culture, sport and the arts. There will also be a number of site visits across the City Region to venues including historic houses and sites, visitor centres, and museums and galleries.

Pam Wilsher, Head of Visitor Economy Development for the Liverpool LEP, commented: “It is 16 years since the last Blue Badge Guide training programme was offered in Liverpool, so we are delighted to open recruitment to find the next wave of Blue Badge Tourist Guides. This is rare opportunity for people with a genuine passion about the destination to widen their knowledge and gain a recognised qualification which could possibly lead to a new career.

“The role of a tourist guide is to welcome, organise, inform and entertain. The course is intense but the qualification will be very rewarding and well worth all the hard work. The City Region has changed beyond recognition since the last Blue Badge course, so we are very excited about this initiative to find new guiding talent to complement the huge wealth of knowledge our exciting accredited Guides already possess.”

Dave Jones is a shining example of what can be achieved by becoming a Blue Badge Guide.

Dave was working as a Hackney Cab driver when he took the decision to train as a Blue Badge Guide 32 years ago. He qualified in April 1980 and hasn’t looked back since. He is now a Director of Cavern City Tours which operates the Magical Mystery Tour, Cavern Club, Cavern Pub and International Beatle Week.

He explained: “Becoming a Blue Badge Guide was a life changing experience for me, it opened so many doors. It not only gave me a great feeling of citizenship and privilege, it allowed me to develop my own skills and introduced me to the wider opportunities that the tourism industry offers. Over time I have been able to convert those new found skills and opportunities into a business which has developed as a leading player in Liverpool’s Visitor Economy.”

The closing date for applications is 11 April, with interviews taking place mid April. Successful applicants will then attend a four-day introductory course in June followed by a period of self-study over the summer.

The training enables tourist guides to offer a high quality, professional and welcoming service to enhance the overall visitor experience. Prospective candidates must have the ability to relay their knowledge in a compelling and entertaining way with excellent interactive skills, and the course also includes support with guiding techniques and business start-up.

The main programme runs between October 2012 and April 2013, and includes weekly lectures and practical training sessions. The final examinations are set by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and take place in April 2013. Applicants who speak a second language are particularly welcome. There is a fee payable to participate in this training programme.

*Subject to accreditation by the Institute of Tourist Guiding