An accommodation warden works in centres such as student residences, youth hostels, activity centres, caravan sites and night shelters for homeless people. A hostel warden looks after the wellbeing, safety and discipline of the residents as well as making sure that the building is kept clean and well maintained.
You could be:
- allocating accommodation and giving out room keys, telling residents the house rules and making sure they keep them
- arranging and supervising cleaning and organising catering
- making sure that there is adequate security
- carrying out minor repairs and arranging major repairs
- collecting rent and chasing up those in arrears
- paying bills and balancing budgets
- dealing with complaints, enquiries, emergencies and other problems
- sometimes having to watch out for alcohol or drug abuse and deal with troublemakers
- in youth hostels providing information on walks, activities and local tourist attractions.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of the organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
The starting salary is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
As of 1 April 2017 the National Minimum Wage is £4.05 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17, £5.60 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £7.05 an hour for workers aged 21 to 24. The National Living Wage is £7.50 for workers aged 25 and over.
With experience this may rise to £11.00 an hour. You can often boost your income through overtime.
- You work long hours including evenings and weekends.
- You might have free time during the day when most residents are out.
- In some hostels the workload gets heavier at certain times of the year.
- Some youth hostels are in remote areas of the Highlands and Islands.
- You might have to live on the premises.
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- You do not usually need any formal qualifications, but this could depend on the type of workplace, for example whether it is a youth hostel or shelter.
- For youth hostel vacancies you need customer service, cash handling experience and IT skills. It also helps to know about the local area and have a knowledge of a second language.
- Volunteering with the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) as a volunteer hostel assistant can also be useful. See the SYHA for more details.
- It helps if you have DIY skills.
- A driving licence is an advantage and is necessary in remote areas.
- For some jobs you must declare any criminal convictions. Certain types of conviction may prevent you from getting in. You may need an Enhanced Disclosure or PVG Scheme record from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details.
- If you are working with vulnerable groups it may be helpful to have Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Social Services and Healthcare at SCQF Levels 6 or 7.
Predicted Employment in Scotland
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What Does it Take?
- self-confidence and assertiveness
- a friendly, helpful manner
- a well organised approach
- good number skills to plan budgets
- a willingness to take responsibility
- the ability to work well in a team
- the ability to communicate with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
You should also have:
- patience and tolerance
- a calm disposition – to deal with difficult residents
- a caring nature.
- Training is mainly on the job. While working you can study for Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) such as SVQ Cleaning and Support Services at Level SCQF Level 5 .
- The NEBOSH Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety may also be useful.
- Hostel managers with the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) can begin as youth hostel assistants and work towards SVQ Customer Service at SCQF Levels 5 or 6, SVQ Hospitality Supervision and Leadership at SCQF Level 7, and eventually towards an SVQ Hospitality Management Skills at SCQF Level 8.
- You could move post from warden of a small centre, to warden of a large centre, to the post of senior warden and then to manager.
- You could also move into housing or block management
- If you work as a warden with vulnerable groups, you could study for more qualifications and move into new areas such as counselling or social work.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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