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Whitbread works with Stockton-on-Tees local College to help train students in the world of hospitality

20 Dec 2023 Brand

Premier Inn Middlesborough College Student Programme

The UK’s biggest hospitality company and Premier Inn owner, Whitbread, has connected with 16 young people who are wanting to join the hospitality industry and build a career.

Sixteen Middlesbrough College students spent two days working in a local Premier Inn, covering all departments including reception, the restaurant, kitchen, and housekeeping as part of Whitbread’s youth strategy to support 500 young people this academic year in accessing a career in hospitality.

The students learned about the roles in the department they were joining and received first-hand experience on how Whitbread operates in different roles, to help them understand how a hotel business operates on a day-to-day basis.

After the two days’ work experience all students received a certificate which they can add to their college portfolio and to their CV, which will benefit them in applying for jobs in the future.

Students who are interested in joining Whitbread will be invited back for more in- depth work experience which will follow a 10-day structured programme and those who have applied for a job with the hotel owner will be interviewed, in hope of getting them a job in the hospitality industry.

The students have been able to network with the local managers in their area and if they are interested in opportunities in the future now have people to connect with directly.

Gemma Raby, Resourcing Programme Manager for Whitbread said: “It was fantastic to welcome the students from Middlesbrough College and get to know them and what their career aspirations are but also what barriers to experience and employment they face. There was some real talent in the group and some who wanted to come and work for us which was great to hear. Knowing that we have been able to provide these young people with some experience into the world of work and what our operation is like, then to hear they want to come and join our team makes it clear we have been able to make a positive impact on them now and for their future and that makes me proud”. 

Zoe Lewis, Principal and Chief Executive of Middlesbrough College said: “It’s fantastic to see exciting opportunities like this put forward to our students as it gives them the vital experience they need for the real world of work. Middlesbrough College is dedicated to working alongside industry to deliver courses that give young people the right skills for the future, and work placements such as this one is a great example of the skills and knowledge our students can acquire through the experience. “

As detailed on unemployment in 16–24-year-olds remains significantly higher than in adults, with young people being placed at a significant disadvantage due to the Covid-19 pandemic where opportunities they once may have had were taken away. This has directly impacted them when looking to gain experience and meaningful employment where they are able to grow a career. 

Lee Pink, work experience industry placement coordinator for Middlesbrough College said : “It has been a fantastic pleasure to work on this project with Whitbread. Both organisations share the same passion and desire to provide opportunities for up-and-coming talent within further education. Whitbread have given our students a fantastic opportunity to be involved in a hotel takeover which has given them an insight to see the possibilities and real-life work within the industry. These opportunities are so important for students and young adults alike as it gives them the experience and knowledge they require moving forward. It was a pleasure to work alongside Whitbread on this project and only the start of what could be endless opportunities working together.”

Whitbread has a long history in employing young people from different backgrounds, many of whom go on to developing a long career with them. Opportunities available include work experience and apprenticeships as well as full and part-time roles.

With its structured training and apprenticeship programmes, combined with the scale of their business, Whitbread can genuinely offer people the opportunity for rapid career and pay progression, whilst building a diverse pipeline for Its leadership roles.

Whitbread now has a dedicated email inbox for students/parents/carers/schools  to enquire about opportunities. Interested parties should contact for more information.

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