College Provides Premier Training for New Hotel Staff
Day two of our tour... we're in Bentley Bridge today!
Walsall College has helped to recruit 37 members of staff for the new Premier Inn hotel in Walsall and prepare them for their roles with a pre-employability course.
The new 12 million pound Premier Inn on the Walsall Waterfront, set to open in December, will have 100 bedrooms, a Brewers Fayre restaurant and has created 65 new jobs in total.
Working in partnership with Walsall College and Job Centre Plus, Premier Inn formed a Sector Work Based Academy as part of its recruitment drive in Walsall. A government backed initiative, Sector Work Based Academies take unemployed individuals from a local area, provide them with nationally recognised qualifications, allow them to experience work placements in the chosen industry and guarantee interviews with companies in that sector.
Candidates, who were successfully screened by Job Centre Plus from over 500 initial applicants, were invited to an assessment day at Walsall College where their training needs were identified. The hopefuls were then enrolled onto a three-week pre-employability course, which covered a range of topics including customer service, office operations, food hygiene and cleaning to ensure they had the key skills required by Premier Inn.
After successfully gaining five qualifications, 37 people who were previously unemployed were then offered permanent roles at the Premier Inn, including in housekeeping, guest services and hospitality.
Employability Project Manager at Walsall College, Jason Fisher said: “Filling multiple vacancies can be a time consuming and costly procedure for businesses of any size or nature. Our pre-recruitment training courses are designed to allow us to support businesses recruit staff that meet their requirements, and then ensure they are equipped with the skills required to fulfill their roles.
“We worked closely with Premier Inn to develop a training programme that reflected the core skills they required their candidates to have, as well as provide staff with the confidence and motivation to perform their new jobs to the best of their abilities.”
Restaurant New Openings Manager for Premier Inn, Emily Bennett commented: “Our partnership with Walsall College has meant that those people who took part in the pre-employment training course, and progressed to working in our hotel will have a great start to their new jobs. The college’s capacity to deliver a very large volume of highly trained candidates in a short space of time was particularly useful to us as a business.”
Having been unemployed for four months, 38-year-old Karen Mai from Darlaston is now looking forward to starting a new career as a receptionist at the hotel. She said: “I was an admin clerk with a logistics company but struggled to find work after being made redundant and even tried to start my own business. This course gave me the opportunity I needed to re-train in a different area and gain new customer service skills and qualifications. I found it quite challenging at times, but the tutors and Premier Inn staff were very supportive and I’m much more confident in my own abilities now.
“I think this a brilliant programme that more local companies should adopt and it also gives unemployed people a chance to show how committed they are to getting back to work.”
After being unemployed for six months, Scott Humpage (23) from Beachdale was relieved when he found out he had been offered the job as a room attendant. He commented: “I thought the course was fantastic as it gave me an insight into what the role required, as well as a chance to meet the other colleagues I could potentially be working with. I’m delighted I got the job but if that hadn’t been the case, with the qualifications I’ve gained from doing the course I think it would have just been a matter of time before I found a job.”
For more information about the pre-employability courses available at Walsall College, please call 01922 688638, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.