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Disabled students check-in to hospitality careers at mini premier inn

20 Jan 2020 Brand, Opportunity, Sustainability


The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health Justin Tomlinson today (Friday, January 17) checked out the UK’s most inspirational hotel.

  • Minister for Disabled People visits UK’s most inspirational hotel and calls on other employers to build inclusive workforce
  • Mini hotel provides hospitality training for students with a range of disabilities
  • Visit marks six-month anniversary of hotel opening

The Minister visited Coventry’s Hereward College, home to the UK’s smallest Premier Inn, which has just three bedrooms, to celebrate its’ six-month anniversary.

Completely indistinguishable from a regular hotel, right down to ‘do not disturb’ signs on the doors and the tea and coffee making facilities Premier Inn guests are familiar with, it features three en-suite bedrooms, a reception desk, corridor and linen room.

Used by a wide cross-section of the college’s 270 students, the state-of-the-art mini-hotel is a training facility and helps young people to learn skills in the hospitality industry.

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:

“With a record 4.2million disabled people in work, employers like Premier Inn are increasingly recognising the benefits having a diverse workforce brings.

“The Tiny Hotel’s unique, hands-on learning environment is preparing talented young people for exciting careers in the hospitality sector by equipping them with the skills businesses need, and it’s an inspiration to other employers.

“I want everyone to be able to reach their full potential. This Government is committed to supporting employers like the Premier Inn, through our schemes like Access to Work and Disability Confident to make the most of the talent and important contribution disabled people bring to a workplace.”

The tiny Premier Inn, as part of its Force For Good programme, is a partnership project with Coventry’s Hereward College, a national further educational facility specialising in skills training for independent living and employment for young people with disabilities and additional needs.

From guest relations to housekeeping, the facility enables young people to learn about all areas of hospitality in a completely realistic hotel environment.

Excitingly, young people taking part in the programme have the opportunity to undertake supported internships and the ambition is for them to go on to paid employment in Premier Inn hotels across the country.

The Minister met with college leaders and some of the young people benefiting from the Premier Inn scheme.

Elaine Newbold, Premier Inn Regional Operations Director said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the six-month opening of our tiny Premier Inn. It’s absolutely wonderful to see so many young people already benefitting from the scheme and we’re excitedly following follow their progress from tiny hotel to Premier Inns across the country”.

Paul Cook, Principal at Hereward College said: “The partnership with Premier Inn and the development of the training facility has been a huge opportunity for our students. Statistics show that only 6% of people with disabilities are currently in paid employment and by providing meaningful work experience and clear progression into the hospitality industry we are going someway to creating positive outcomes for our learners.”

Alan Nixon, CEO at Novus Property Solutions, said: “Delivering projects that have lasting impacts in the communities we operate in is at the heart of what we do. The success of this facility at Hereward College is testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff involved at Premier Inn, the college and here at Novus.

“To be recognised by the Minister for Disabled people is an incredible achievement for everyone involved and we’re looking forward to following the progress those living with disabilities make as a result of the project.”

The tiny hotel at Hereward is the second Premier Inn of its type. The hotel company also has a three-bedroom training facility at Shropshire’s Derwen College, which also supports young people with additional needs

Additional information:

About Premier Inn

Premier Inn was named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for 2018 according to Which? With almost 800 hotels and more than 76,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland, Premier Inn guests are never far from a great night’s sleep at fantastic value rates. Premier Inn hotels are in more locations than any other UK hotel brand for the ease and convenience of leisure and business travellers alike.

All Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, a luxurious Hypnos® bed, a choice of pillows, TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. A bar and restaurant is situated either on-site or next door to each hotel, offering a wide range of food and drink including a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Across the estate, the average Trip Advisor score for Premier Inn hotels is 4.2. Premier Inn has been awarded the Best UK Family Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Best UK Hotel Group in the Silver Travel Awards and the Business In The Community Environmental Leadership Award. In 2018 Premier Inn was also named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for the fourth year in a row by Which?

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the National Charity partner of Premier Inn and to date team members, guests and suppliers have reached the milestone of £10 million, which formed part of the funding towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in January 2018.Outside of the UK, Premier Inn’s expansion plans are focused on Germany.  Premier Inn opened its first hotel in Frankfurt in 2016 and has more than 6,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in its secured pipeline in Germany.

About Hereward College
Hereward College is a national college based in Coventry for young people with disabilities and additional needs.

There is a real focus on embedding a culture of employability throughout the college, ensuring that every young person that leaves Hereward has the skills needed for independent living and employment.

A highly successful supported internship programme has grown year on year. Supported internships are a study programme aimed at young people (aged 16-24) with an EHC plan to gain experience in the workplace within a supported environment. They provide a platform to further develop their skills and experience in a structured way.

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