College students in ‘hotel takeover’ of Crowne Plaza

Students from The City of Liverpool College will spend this week running the Crowne Plaza in Speke, as part of the National Hotel Takeover.

The students will run 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 are all shadowed by hotel team members and have the opportunity to gain practical experience of running a busy, fully functioning hotel to complement their classroom based training.

Gill Williams, Head of School Catering, Sport and Travel at the college, said: “Our links with industry are unparalleled and have been created to ensure our students are given opportunities to learn about work.

“Our apprentices study at the college and work in some of the biggest hotels and restaurants in Liverpool and North West, which really equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to progress into full time employment.

“The hotel takeover will be an invaluable experience for the students and I’m sure the guests will enjoy the novelty of having our talented students working hard to make sure their stay in Liverpool is memorable.”

The City of Liverpool College is the leading provider for vocational catering courses with teaching and training held as among the most established in the city. All the courses are delivered in a professional environment based at the Duke Street city centre campus, with kitchens, bakeries and the student led café and restaurant The Academy.

The college is also the only higher education institution to partner with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, which delivers the highest standard of chef training in Europe with graduates going on to earn Michelin stars.

The hotel takeover initiative is the brainchild of the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) in partnership with People 1ST, a programme designed to encourage more young people to work in the hospitality industry.

Paul Gallen, General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said: “We are delighted to be participating in the hotel takeover. 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 and we look forward to giving the class of 2018 a valuable on the job training and experience.”

The ‘hotel takeover’ comes after the hugely successful Visitor Economy Week when the City of Liverpool College hosted 20 events and workshops to showcase the Liverpool City Region’s first class provision for hospitality and catering.

Through the IHG Academy, IHG Hotels, which include 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.

There are more than 50,000 workers in the sector who generate £4.3bn for the region’s economy.

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