Holiday Inn Washington has teamed up with a North East college as part of a global training initiative to give students an insight in to the hospitality and events sector.
Over 40 students at Gateshead College took part in the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG’s) national hotel takeover, in partnership with People 1st, which helps businesses maximise the potential of talent and apprenticeships.
The week-long takeover, saw students from the college’s catering and travel and tourism courses take over the hotel in a variety of roles, to gain real world work experience, and complement their classroom-based training.
Through the training programme, students gained an insight in to a variety of career areas, including management, admin, housekeeping, and working in the restaurant and kitchen.
Shadowed by hotel team members, the college students were able to try their hand in a range of areas, including checking in hotel guests, serving food and beverages, and running room service and housekeeping.
Working on a shift basis, students looked after conference delegates, and served up over 130 breakfasts and 75 meals each day.
They also held an Oscars themed gala, to raise money for the Gateshead College Foundation and GreenFinger charity, which was attended by local MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson. Every aspect of the gala was planned by the students, including the menu, rotas, décor and styling, and entertainment.
The initiative is part of IHG® Academy. Through IHG Academy, IHG hotels (with brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express) collaborate with educational providers and community groups to help local people build their hospitality skills and improve their employability.
Since 2013, more than 47,000 people have benefitted from the IHG Academy across 2,133 programmes in 79 countries.
Paul Mandeir, general manager of Holiday Inn Washington said: “We are delighted to have participated in the hotel takeover. This is the 18th year the initiative has been running, and the first time Holiday Inn Washington has taken part. We hope that Gateshead College students have gained valuable, on the job training and experience through the takeover.”
Amy Byrne, PA and HR at Holiday Inn Washington said “We are very excited to be running this programme and the excitement of the students at being phenomenal. The interest and professionalism of the students has been fantastic, and we now have an excellent working relationship with the college.’
Judith Doyle, CBE and principal of Gateshead College said: “The partnership between the college and the Holiday Inn is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain an insight into a variety of roles within the events and hospitality industries.
“The college continually works with businesses to provide students with the best opportunities that will enhance their career prospects and allow them to get ahead and gain an employment edge.”
Gateshead College student Emma Dixon said: “I have really enjoyed being a part of the takeover programme. I had great fun, but it was also extremely beneficial to gain experience in a realistic work environment. I’ve picked up new skills and knowledge that will prepare me for work in the industry and help my future career prospects.”
Holiday Inn Washington is part of over 30 IHG hotels in the UK to participate in the hotel takeover, aimed at encouraging more people to take up a career in the hospitality and events sector.