Cultural Officer — Athlone Castle | Opportunities | Athlone Arts and Tourism

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Cultural Officer — Athlone Castle

ATHLONE ARTS & TOURISM LTD

Athlone Arts & Tourism operates Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery and Abbey Road Artists’ Studios. These sites managed by Athlone Arts and Tourism Ltd are of major significance to the cultural landscape of Athlone and the midlands region. 

Athlone Arts & Tourism is seeking to appoint a Cultural Officer. Details and particulars of the post are set out hereunder:

THE ROLE

A Cultural Officer is required to work under the management of Athlone Arts & Tourism and will be primarily located at Athlone Castle. We are looking for candidates who are able to demonstrate excellent team building skills, pro-activity and enthusiasm for delivering a world class visitor experience. This is an early to mid-career post and you must have experience of working and tour-guiding in a museum, heritage site, visitor attraction or similar environment, be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about history, museum collections and/or subject areas. The successful candidate will have a demonstrable interest in the history of Athlone, cultural and tourism facilities and developments in the town and the region.

The Cultural Officer will be required to undertake a range of duties that include staff and volunteer supervision, customer services, guiding, sales, retail, administration, accounts administration, reporting, marketing and event co-ordination.

(a) Job Title: Athlone Arts & Tourism Cultural Officer -Athlone Castle

(b) Commensurate with duties

(c) Contract: Full-time permanent position with 6 months probationary period

(d) Responsible To: Athlone Arts & Tourism Ltd.

(e) Reporting To: Management of Athlone Arts & Tourism Ltd.

 

KEY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • The Cultural Officer will supervise the existing visitor services team of staff and volunteers and work with management to create a customer focused organisation that will exceed the expectations of its core audiences.
  • Reception/ticketing – The Cultural Officer will be responsible for booking in individuals and groups to Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and tailoring visits to suit the requirements of the visitors. 
  • Tour guiding duties - The Cultural Officer will be required to coordinate and deliver guided tours, costumed storytelling and engage with and interpret the castle story to visitors of Athlone Castle. They will be required to pre-plan group tours and ensure sufficient staffing and volunteers are scheduled. They will also review and create new tour content for existing and emerging visitor segments as required.
  • Administration – The Cultural Officer is required to complete administrative duties such as managing the booking system, gathering data on visitors, managing customer and sales accounts, including invoicing and debt follow up, developing databases, managing the group bookings, tour operator, referral partners and membership files with regard to rates, renewals, offers and new business, generating reports based on sales figures, visitor number and behaviours etc. 
  • The Cultural Officer is responsible in assisting management in ensuring the safe and efficient day-to-day running of the castle visitor centre.
  • Cash handling and till operating – The Cultural Officer will be required to operate the till daily and create new products and make adjustments to the till as required. The Cultural Officer will be required to adhere to the company cash handling procedures, count and manage floats and change, cash up in the evenings and complete float checks and till record checks on a regular basis as required by management.
  • Reporting – the preparation of monthly reports for submission to the Manager.
  • Programming – the Cultural Officer will assist management in the development, coordination and delivery of a varied and integrated programme of outreach, educational tours and events.
  • Duties will include responsibility for the collection; acquisitions; temporary and permanent exhibitions; research; publications; and answering public enquiries.
  • Café and gift shop management – the Cultural Officer is responsible for the running of the café and gift shop at Athlone Castle Visitor centre under the supervision of management – including completing regular stock taking, ordering, generating merchandise and sales reports, sourcing new products to sell etc.
  • Events duties may include café duties, catering, meet and greet roles, dealing with media, guest list management, decoration, invigilation, costumed guiding etc.
  • Liaising with Hotels, Guesthouses, Visitor Attractions, State Agencies, Tour Operators and other Tourism and Heritage Providers in respect of services/rates available to visitors to Athlone Castle.
  • Research – the Cultural Officer will be required to complete regular research relating to; historical data, new markets, increasing visitor numbers, competitor analysis etc.
  • Venue representation – the Cultural Officer will from time to time be required to represent the venue at trade and consumer historical and tourism fairs, at large scale events, conferences and in media and press.
  • The Cultural Officer will ensure the castle facilities; grounds and public areas are clean and functioning, conducting regular and recorded checks of all areas and advising maintenance staff and management on issues as they arise.
  • The Cultural Officer must have a flexible approach to work, and be adaptable to carry out duties in other tourism amenities / facilities associated with Athlone Arts & Tourism as required by the Manager.
  • The ability to provide First Aid is necessary (training will be provided).
  • Other duties as may from time to time be assigned by the management and board of Athlone Arts and Tourism in relation to the employment as Cultural Officer at Athlone Castle  and to carry out such instructions as may be given in relation to the performance of duties.

The above duties outline the main functions and responsibilities of the post of Cultural Officer and may be subject to review in the future.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

  • The Cultural Officer will be employed on the basis of a permanent full-time contract with an initial probationary period of 1 year and will be subject to one month’s notice in writing on either side and depending on continuing finance being available.
  • Duty at weekends and at night (as required) will be an integral part of the working week i.e. the position has a 37.5hour over 7 days responsibility (Monday to Sunday inclusive).
  • The salary for the post is €24,188 pa and remuneration shall be paid fortnightly in arrears.
  • Applicants must have the flexibility to work hours in line with the seasonal and operational considerations of the attractions/facilities.
  • Physical demands of the role include standing, walking, delivering guided tours, delivering workshops and carrying objects and merchandise.
  • Rostered days and hours including start and finish times will be determined by management.
  • Hold a current clean Category B driving licence and have the use of a car.
  • Applicants must be flexible with both their time and approach to work and be comfortable carrying out a variety of tasks.

Full terms and conditions will be provided with contract at time of appointment.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

1. Character

Candidates must be of good character.

2. Health

Candidates shall be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service. 

3. Essential Education/Experience etc.

Each candidate must have:

 

  • An excellent standard and comprehension of key principals of customer service.
  • A minimum third level qualification (diploma) in History, Arts (History), Cultural & Heritage Studies or a related field
  • A minimum of one years’ relevant work experience in a visitor attraction, heritage site or museum to enable effective and efficient role fulfilment.
  • Have good time management, organisational, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Tour guiding experience in a visitor attraction, heritage site or museum.
  • Cash handling experience.
  • Have the capacity to contribute to and work well as part of a team.
  • Have the ability to use initiative and judgement.
  • Be honest, dedicated and hard working.
  • Be punctual and capable of working within strict time frames to achieve targets and be capable of completing tasks in a timely fashion to a high standard.
  • Fluency in English and excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Equally essential are ICT skills in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook.
  • Hold a current clean Category B driving licence and have the use of a car.

 

Desirable Education/Experience etc.

  • A good basic knowledge of the history of Athlone Castle, Athlone and connected sites in the region.
  • An understanding of the opportunities afforded by social media for tourism marketing and development and visitor servicing.
  • Conversational skills/fluency in additional languages.

 

RECRUITMENT

  • Selection shall be by means of a competition based on an interview conducted by a board on behalf of Athlone Arts & Tourism Ltd.
  • Short listing will be applied where necessary on the basis of information supplied by candidates. 
  • Interviews will be held in the last week of February/first week in March.
  • Candidates must be available to start in early March 2018.
  • A panel may be formed on the basis of such interviews. Candidates whose names are on a panel and who satisfy that they possess the qualifications declared for the post and that they are otherwise suitable for appointment may, within the life of the panel, be appointed as appropriate vacancies arise. The life of the panel shall be 12 months.
  • Appointment will be subject to the receipt of satisfactory Garda Vetting and references.
  • The successful candidate will undergo a medical examination. The Medical Examiner will be nominated by Athlone Arts and Tourism. The successful candidate will be required to pay the fee for any general medical examination and on receipt of bill, Athlone Arts and Tourism will reimburse the candidate.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Applicants to send 3 x copies of a current Curriculum Vitae and cover letter (including 2 named references), outlining their specific experience as it relates to the role description
no later than 5pm Thursday 22nd February 2018 to;

The Company Secretary,
Athlone Arts & Tourism,
c/o Luan Gallery,
Grace Road,
Athlone,
Co. Westmeath.

Applications sent by post should be posted in sufficient time to ensure delivery by this deadline. Allegations of loss or delay will not be considered unless supported by a Certificate of Posting.  The cost of postage must be borne by the applicant.

Please note an email confirmation of receipt of application will be sent. Shortlisted candidates must be available to attend interview which will be held the last week in February 2018.

Canvassing will immediately disqualify candidate.