Development at Merlin

Here at Merlin, we create more memories, bring more joy, and spread more happiness to more people in more places than anyone else in the world – and that extends to our people too.

We believe in the transformative power of continuous growth and learning. We care about creating a supportive and collaborative environment that encourages curiosity, creativity, and a passion for learning for our people. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career, Merlin's Learning and Development initiatives are tailored to guide our people towards their aspirations and give them the ability to own their craft.

Across the globe, our teammates have the opportunity to drive and discover on a journey of professional and personal growth, developing the knowledge and skills to thrive in their roles. From industry leading training modules to immersive development experiences, our programmes are designed to unleash your full potential and elevate your career to new heights!

Ticket To Lead

Welcome to Ticket to Lead by Merlin Entertainments – your passport to leadership excellence. As a global leader in branded entertainment destinations, this groundbreaking virtual development program is designed to nurture and empower emerging leaders from every corner of the globe, as we continue our mission to be the greatest place to work and play.

Over the course of six weeks, delegates will dive deep into the intricacies of leadership, discovering their unique strengths and learning how to harness them for maximum positive impact. Led by industry experts and developed in collaboration with Merlin’s Executive Committee, Ticket to Lead offers a comprehensive approach to leadership development. Spanning six weeks, Ticket to Lead enables current, new, and aspiring leaders around the world to:

  • Own Their Craft and uncover the leader they’re destined to be and build towards it.
  • Reflect on and share their individual and team purposes; enabling us all to Go Together.
  • Learn ways to implement guest experience strategies that show We Care.
  • Set the foundations of excellent leadership so they Enjoy The Ride of a lifetime in their career.
  • Connect with like-minded peers worldwide, sharing stories and forging lasting bonds.

The first cohort of Ticket to Lead will begin in 2024 with more than 150 delegates starting their journey.


Rising Programme

Spanning 12 months, Rising enables frontline team members to experience a fast-paced, full-throttle development programme that sees them take on real-life leadership roles across strategically important areas of Merlin’s global business – and enjoy the ride every step of the way.

Our Risers will gain all important ‘on the job’ experience, along with exclusive access to dedicated learning experiences around: leadership fundamentals, critical thinking, belonging, marketing, attraction management, and employee engagement. Helping them to drive and discover their own unique talents, and make true impact.

Initially launched in 2022, our first Rising cohort have graduated in 2023 with great success – with 50% of our delegates already securing permanent managerial level roles within our global business.

This year, in 2024, we’ve further focused on equitable opportunities for all – expanding our cohort by 40%, and opening applications to everyone, everywhere, so individuals can truly own their craft, and hone their own career journeys.

In fact, our 17 budding Risers hail from all corners of the world (the USA, UK & Europe, ANZ, and wider APAC) and will be relocating to work across some of our most iconic brands: Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, Peppa Pig World of Play, LEGOLAND Resorts, Thorpe Park Resort, and Warwick Castle; as well as providing dedicated resource and support to one of our partner charities: the SEA LIFE TRUST. Because learning has no limit, and everyone matters at Merlin.


XCalibre is Merlin’s top talent ‘leading enterprise’ flagship development programme.

XCalibre runs once per year, for high performing, high potential leaders across the globe.

Spaced out over six months delegates complete a blended programme anchored around three modules and two final assignments: a business problem team challenge, and a final individual reflective assignment.

Everyone Matters at Merlin

Everyone Matters at Merlin, and this means we will continue to support, invest in and develop our people. We are proud to celebrate and support our teams and foster a culture where our people can own their craft and showcase the best of everyone.


In this film, our people from our global attractions come together to share their stories, of what they love about working for Merlin, the times they've felt supported as part of the team and how they enjoy the ride.