Merlin Entertainments, the global leader in location-based, family entertainment and employer to thousands of staff across 140 different attractions in 25 countries, has launched the first cohort of its new accelerated management programme – targeted directly at its global frontline staff.

The programme, which launched in June, was inundated with entries from across the world. The final cohort was whittled down to the final 14 successful candidates from Merlin teams around the world, including the USA, Australia, UK, Germany and Netherlands.

The successful group of staff have a roller-coaster and high-intensity 12 months training programme ahead of them, which will include mentoring, placements, networking, and direct access to senior leaders. The XCalibre Rising 2022 team will each be given a business projects which they will present to Merlin’s Executive team in a ‘Dragons Den’ style format, as well a range of business tasks and masterclass experiences which will see them travelling to different attractions, including some in different countries – travel and expenses paid! The candidates were able to specialise in the two main areas of Marketing or Attraction Management.

As they progress on their development journey in multiple placements on the programme, the candidates are vlogging their journeys to share their experience with future cohorts.

Watch their introduction film below

Runner-up candidates have also been offered development opportunities within Merlin, with individual feedback on performance, mentoring opportunities and networking to gain valuable experience and insight with individuals that currently work in roles they are interested in. Other opportunities include job swaps with the career roadmap development.

The programme has been developed with inclusion at its very heart. Executive champion for Inclusion and Diversity at Merlin, Fiona Eastwood says of the programme:

“I’m delighted we have our first Cohort of XCalibre Rising already in place and starting to work in their various placements. This programme gives amazing people in our business the chance to accelerate their career in a way that just may not have been previously possible – either from a professional or personal point of view. This is just one of the ways we're rewarding loyal people in our business by offering new opportunities and helping them to achieve the career of their dreams – we can’t wait to see what they achieve next!”

Fiona Eastwood, Executive champion for Inclusion and Diversity at Merlin Entertainments