LEWIS Robins, a 24-year-old from Cwmbran, and James Adams, a 28-year-old from Middlesbrough, have a great deal in common.
They both work full time in the open air at the Celtic Manor Resort but more specifically, they work in golf at the world-famous, five-star resort which staged the 2010 Ryder Cup.
Since joining, Lewis and James have gained lots of experience through both their determination to succeed and the high-quality employee training on offer.
We discover why they think that the renowned Celtic Manor Resort is such an enjoyable place to work...
What are your qualifications?
Lewis: I went to school and sixth form at Croesyceiliog, where I got 11 GCSEs and three A levels.
James: I have 10 GCSEs. I went to college in Middlesbrough followed by two years at university What is your job?
Lewis: My official title is senior golf services associate. I have more responsibilities such as sorting out other workers shift patterns, planning who does what on particular days and dealing with complaints.
James: I am a supervisor of the nine hole course in Caerleon where I manage one person and run the day-to-day activities there.
What job did you do when you first started at the resort?
Lewis: I came to work here straight from school as a seasonal associate. I saw the job advertised and put my name straight down. I started pretty much a year after Celtic Manor hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup, which I came here to watch as a fan.
James: I had a temporary summer job as part of the golf customer service team where I looked after golfers across all of the resort’s three golf courses. That position became permanent and I now look after golfers playing on our Caerleon course, where I also have a supervisor’s role. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Lewis: I really enjoy being involved in an operation like this. We get 500 golfers on a good day and I like interacting with the people I meet. We also get a lot of regulars from all over the UK. Many of them remember us by name, which is great. I enjoy being involved in a place with such a worldwide reputation.
James: I enjoy the friendly people I work with, the golfers themselves and the opportunities I get from working here.
What are the challenges?
Lewis: No two days are the same. We get busy days and quiet days and each of them come with their own challenges but we always try our best to provide the five-star service to everybody which they expect and deserve.
James: The main challenge is keeping the five-star standard up and giving it to everyone who visits.
What’s the training like at Celtic Manor Resort?
Lewis: We get looked after really well in terms of training opportunities. The investment put into the associates through the training programmes is all part of working here.
James: The training we get is on a daily basis, starting with introduction courses. There are hundreds of courses to apply for to help you progress your career with Celtic Manor.
Have you come across any celebrity guests?
Lewis: We get a lot of celebrities staying here. Gareth Bale, for example, is a regular golfer, and I met Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg before Christmas when he was down for a new film. We always strive to give the five star service every day to everyone.
James: VIPs are treated as a normal guest, the only difference is they tend to want more privacy. We aren’t allowed to take pictures with them because they deserve to be given the same treatment as any guest, which is fine.
How do you see your career developing at Celtic Manor Resort?
Lewis: I have already moved up the ranks in the short time I’ve been here and my next progression is hopefully to a supervisor. Hopefully I can progress within the golf team but there are other places I could potentially move into as well.
James: Over the five years I have worked here my career has already developed from summer job to supervisor. So I can’t see why with the way that Celtic Manor is structured I can’t move up to management and on up to the top.
Would you encourage others to work at Celtic Manor?
Lewis: Definitely apply as it is a great place to work. We have a really great team right across the resort and there are always opportunities. James: I would encourage people to come to work here. It’s a great place with a fantastic reputation. There are always chances to get on in the job you do or perhaps look to switch to take up opportunities in other parts of the resort.
What sort of staff benefits do you get?
Lewis: We get things like golf membership for the year for a small fee, free meals when we are on duty every day, discounted hotel stays and restaurant meals and activities. We are very well looked after here. We are also well-recognised for good work as I have been nominated for one of the first ‘Making A Difference’ (MAD) Staff Awards too.
James: The staff benefits you get here make it even better. The facilities are five star and to be able to use these and also get excellent meals while on duty is a real bonus.
FACT FILE • Celtic Manor Resort consists of The Resort Hotel, Manor House Hotel and Coldra Court Hotel, the Newbridge on Usk, luxury lodges, two spas, 6 restaurants, three championship golf courses, The Twenty Ten Course, The Montgomerie Course and Roman Road Course, The Twenty Ten clubhouse and The Golf Clubhouse, high ropes courses, adventure golf, laser tag, archery and a multi-purpose conference centre. Celtic Manor Resort was the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup and hosted the 2014 NATO summit.
• Golf Services Associates: The golf section employs 65 full-time and 25 part-time in roles as golf services associates, golf retail associate, PGA golf professionals, green keepers and mechanics. Associates gain a full resort induction including customer services training, product training, opportunity to attend comprehensive programme of employment to progress career.
• Associates work with the golf services department at The Twenty Ten Clubhouse or Golf Clubhouse and are responsible for maintaining the golf services facilities to the expected high standards and to ensure the highest level of customer service is achieved.
• Applicants are expected to have an understanding of the hospitality industry and a genuine interest in helping create a memorable golf experience for our members and guests. An enthusiastic attitude and the ability to work flexibly are essential and knowledge of the game of golf is desirable but not essential.
• Duties for this position will include greeting guests, working in the boot room, locker room, undertaking starter duties, course ranging, maintaining all outside service areas, reception duties and organising buggy hire.