Retail & Hospitality


Have you considered a career in retail or hospitality but been put off by the negative stereotypes? A career in retail is not just stacking shelves over and over again, and a career in hospitality isn’t just serving people their dinner in a restaurant.

The retail and hospitality industry are two of Northern Ireland’s biggest employers. There around 9,800 retail businesses in Northern Ireland, of which 79% employ less than 10 people. Employment within the NI retail industry is approximately 82,393 people, which accounts for around 10% of all employment in the country.

Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector is also thriving, contributing over £1.1bn to the local economy and employing 60,000 people. If you are a looking for a career where you can progress through the ranks, both of these industries offer strong career progression opportunities.



With retail and hospitality being such massive industries in Northern Ireland, there are lots of different routes available to you when you decide to enter these industries. From five-star hotels such as the Grand Central Hotel Belfast, to international retailers such as Topshop or Primark who employ thousands of staff across the UK, there is no shortage of choice if you decide you want to enter these two industries.

One of the more well-known graduate employers is McDonald’s. The company’s graduate scheme is renowned across the UK. At McDonald’s as a trainee manager you can earn between £21,500 and £24,500, and upon completing the programme, you will become a second assistant manager, with opportunities for further progression.

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