From Monday 26 February to Friday 2 March more than 70 students from West Nottinghamshire College will spend a week running Crowne Plaza Nottingham, as part of InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG’s) National Hotel Takeover in partnership with People 1st – a programme designed to encourage more young people to work in the hospitality industry.
The students – who are on various courses including travel and tourism, and catering and hospitality – have been hand-picked for the exercise and will be shadowed by Crowne Plaza staff to gain practical experience of operating a large, fully-functioning hotel to complement their college-based training.
Between them they will perform almost every job role at the Wollaton Street hotel – from general manager, switchboard operator, concierge and house-keeping assistant, to linen porter, chef, bar assistant, and catering and events supervisor, along with managerial positions across HR, finance, house-keeping, food and beverage, and reception.
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.
Crown Plaza Nottingham is among over 30 IHG hotels across the UK to participate in the Hotel Takeover, aimed at encouraging more people to choose careers in hospitality.
David Clements, general manager of Crowne Plaza Nottingham said: “We’re thrilled to be taking part in Hotel Takeover for the first time and partnering with West Nottinghamshire College, which is known for its exceptional hospitality training. Giving ambitious young people on-the-job experience is a great way of recruiting the highly-trained professionals of tomorrow.
“IHG Academy has a strong track record of giving people from all walks of life opportunities to improve their employability skills and nurture a career in this dynamic sector, and what better way to do that than through initiatives such as this.”
Helen Wilcockson, curriculum manager for hospitality and travel at the college, said: “Exposing our students to the world of work is a big part of what we do. Not only do they get a realistic taste of what their future career might look like, it also motivates them to be the best they possibly can be.
“Students can look forward to a hectic and challenging week that puts them to the test – but they’ll learn a huge amount and come away feeling inspired.”