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Checking in for the ultimate work experience opportunity, 30 students from Langley College, part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, spent a week running Holiday Inn Slough-Windsor in Church Street, 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 ran a range of aspects across the hotel – from checking in guests at reception, to serving food and beverages, even running the housekeeping and room service.

They were all shadowed by hotel team members and had the opportunity to gain practical experience of running a busy, fully functioning hotel, to complement their studies and training at college.

The initiative was 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.

The students, who are all studying hospitality and catering or travel and tourism courses at Langley College, covered all roles, starting at the top with a student General Manager. They had to apply for the positions, as they would in real life, with applicants for the student General Manager and student Operations Manager roles even being interviewed by a panel of senior hotel staff. In turn, the student General Manager and student Operations Manager went on to recruit their own student Heads of Departments and remaining team positions.

Chrislyn Paul (21, from Langley), who is studying a foundation degree in tourism and hospitality management at Langley College, was appointed as Student General Manager for the week. She explains: "It has been amazing to be appointed as Student General Manager. I've learnt so much about running a hotel, I've learnt how to manage a team, think on your feet to solve problems, devise rotas, had to put together a presentation on metrics and been responsible for giving the staff briefing each morning. I think this experience has better prepared me for working in the industry. It has definitely changed me as a person. I've got so much more confidence and feel that I can achieve anything now if I push myself."

Langley College student Scott Biddle (19, from Burnhan) said: 'I've really enjoyed the experience and was thrilled to be chosen to be Student Operations Manager. I've even been coming in early for my shifts to make the most of my time here. The hotel staff and guests have been so friendly and supportive. It has been a really valuable insight into how a hotel is run, from management and finances to housekeeping. I think companies in other industries should do a takeover week to give other students this kind of opportunity."

During the week, the students looked after up to 800 breakfast covers and 700 restaurant covers in the evening. Carla Oliveira (18, from Windsor), who was student reception manager for the week, impressed the hotel so much she was offered a part-time job at the hotel, which she will combine with continuing her studies at the College.

Holiday Inn Slough - Windsor is among over 30 IHG hotels across the U.K. to participate in the hotel takeover, aimed at encouraging more people to choose careers in hospitality.

Richard Jackson, General Manager of Holiday Inn Slough-Windsor said: “We’re really delighted to be participating in the hotel takeover for the first time and having developed strong work experience links with Langley College, they were my obvious choice as partners. This is the 18th year this initiative has been running and it’s proven to be a hugely successful recruitment tool. Some of our best team members, even a former General Manager, participated in the takeover as students.”

Kate Gibson, Vice President - Corporate Responsibility, at IHG explains: “The National Hotel Takeover at 30 of our hotels in the UK this week has shown just how important it is for young people to get real life, on-the-job experience working in hospitality. We’ve seen students take on roles from General Manager to Head Chef with many of them displaying a natural talent for a future career in this field. The students that I visited at Holiday Inn Slough – Windsor have done such an incredible job and have really shown us what a bright future they have in hospitality.

“It's really important that we challenge some of the misconceptions young people have about a career in hospitality, and show them first-hand what it can be like. Our own global CEO Keith Barr started out in a restaurant kitchen so that goes to show how much potential there is for growth within the industry, and I hope more young people consider it as a future career path.”

For further information on travel and tourism courses, please click here or for more information on hospitality and catering courses, please click here

Published in Travel and Tourism

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East Berkshire College is delighted to announce that the prestigious Stoke Park Hotel, Spa and Country Club in Buckinghamshire and its award-winning Executive Chef Chris Wheeler will be a patron of the successful Hospitality & Catering Academy at Langley College.

Celebrated chef Chris Wheeler and the team at the five AA red star hotel will be working with the College to help develop new talent for the industry. The partnership will mean budding chefs, hotel managers and those aspiring to a career in front of house service will have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business, through a series of masterclasses, work experience opportunities and enrichment activities.

To mark the beginning of this exciting new partnership, level two and three catering students from Langley College visited the hotel recently for a behind-the-scenes tour and the chance to quiz the resident chefs and front of house team on their roles and experiences.

Chris Wheeler, who has been Executive Chef of the hotel’s Humphry’s fine dining restaurant for 14 years and was recently crowned Hotel Chef of the Year (over 250 covers) at the prestigious Hotel Cateys 2016, is keen to inspire young people to pursue a career in the industry.

“We are absolutely delighted to become a Patron of East Berkshire College and their amazing Hospitality & Catering Academy. To be able to support the students, to offer apprenticeships and to encourage them to work in our industry is fundamental and something which is very important to us,” commented Chris Wheeler.

College Principal, Kate Webb, explains: ““We are passionate about providing our students with an enhanced learning experience through our links with leading industry figures. We are, therefore, absolutely delighted to have Chris Wheeler and the team at Stoke Park as a patron of our training academy. By working together, we will be able to give young people, who are just starting out in their careers, the chance to learn from talented individuals at the top of their profession.”

The College’s Hospitality & Catering Academy works in partnership with patrons from some of the most prestigious restaurants, contract caterers and hotels within the region to provide an enhanced learning experience for students. Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin star Hand & Flowers restaurant in Marlow is also a patron of the academy, representing the restaurant sector, along with Caroline Fry, Chief Executive of leading corporate and commercial catering company CH&Co, who represents the contract catering sector.

From professional cookery (levels one to three) and food hygiene to front of house service, the academy offers an array of full-time and part-time courses, including apprenticeships and a new foundation degree in tourism and hospitality management.

For more information on the Hospitality & Catering Academy at Langley College, please click here or call 01753 793000.

Published in Hospitality & Catering
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 15:30

Learn something new for 2017

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For all our good intentions, the majority of us will not keep our New Year resolutions. So instead of making the same old resolutions, why not try learning a new skill or language, improving your career prospects or taking up a hobby this January.

Whether you want to study part-time or full-time, there’s a variety of courses on offer to suit your needs and you don’t have to wait until September to start. From computing to interior design and Italian to construction, there are an array of courses at East Berkshire College starting in early 2017.

“It’s never too late to learn something new,” says Juliet Holloway, Director of Learner Services at the College. “We have students aged from 15 to 87 years old. With our part-time courses, people can learn at a pace that suits their lifestyle or work commitments. There are courses at various levels to suit most people’s needs and a growing range of apprenticeships, from catering to engineering.

“This year, we have a new Skills Pathway course for 16-23 year olds, which provides a first step towards a career and the chance to try a range of practical subjects, from motor vehicle to hairdressing. We also have a range of professional qualifications and language courses as well as English, maths and IT classes. Some people may even be eligible for free course fees or a government loan.”

With everyone expected to work longer before retirement, keeping your skills up-to-date or training for a career you enjoy, is a wise move.

Farooq Ahmed found going back to college gave him a new career path and renewed confidence: “I was concerned about returning to education after 10 years, but the teachers were fantastic. They were so supportive from the word go and you could email them any time if you had a question.”

Meanwhile, for those interested in taking their skills to a higher level, the College now offers a growing range of Higher Education courses, including a new Foundation Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. These courses provide a more convenient and affordable alternative to university.

Lauren Elliot, who recently completed an HND course at Windsor College, believes studying for a higher level course at college offers a greater degree of flexibility. Lauren explains: “I wanted to take my studies further, but university wasn’t for me. An HND at college is a great alternative. You get more one-to-one time and the lecturers are amazing. Because the course is flexible, I was even able to work while I studied.”

For more details on over 800 courses and apprenticeships at East Berkshire College, please click here or call 01753 793000.

Published in News no category

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