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17 Jul 2023 Brand, Opportunity

  • Two students have graduated this summer from Hereward College’s mini hotel and now have paid jobs at their local Premier Inn
  • Mini Premier Inn hotel provides hospitality training for students with a range of disabilities  

Since 2019, Hereward College, which provides study programmes, learning experiences, and award winning work placement opportunities for young people (age 16-25) with complex disabilities and learning difficulties, has been home to the UK’s smallest Premier Inn, teaching students’ valuable skills including how to run a Premier Inn of their own!

From guest relations to housekeeping, the facility enables young people to learn about all areas of hospitality in a completely realistic hotel environment and this year two students have graduated from the College’s Supported Internship programme and found paid employment at their local Premier Inn’s. 

Paul Cook, Principal at Hereward College said: “I am so pleased to see that two of our Supported Internship graduates have now secured employment with Premier Inn and have paid jobs. Statistics show that only 4.8% of people with disabilities known to services 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 young people with disabilities”.

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 ensuite bedrooms, a reception desk, corridor, and linen room. 

Used by a wide cross-section of the college’s 320 students, the state-of-the-art mini-hotel is a training facility and helps young people to learn skills in the hospitality industry. 

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 college specialising in skills training for independent living, learning and employment for young people with disabilities and additional needs. 

Janet Tidmarsh, Head of Inclusion and Development at Premier Inn Said: “I am really proud of the work we continue to do with Hereward College, and the work our local teams have done to support the interns into employment.  With such a small number of those with disabilities in paid employment in the UK, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to change this through this important partnership”.

Hereward College Graduate said: “I am really looking forward to working at my local Premier Inn. I have learnt a lot from working in the mini hotel at Hereward College and I’m excited to be in paid employment”

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 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.

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