College students take over running of hotels
PUBLISHED: 14:18 27 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:31 27 February 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
College students are experiencing life in the hospitality sector this week thanks to a work placement with a difference.
For the 19th year running City College Norwich students are taking over the running of Norwich’s three Holiday Inns from February 26 to March 2.
This year 230 students are taking part.
The award winning project has this year expanded to include 35 hotels around the country due to a partnership between the college and InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG’s) Academy.
It is hoped the project will expand into Europe next year.
Bill Heath, hotel general manager and project initiator, said: “We have still got the original three hotels and the relationship gets stronger all the time.”
Hannah Nightingale, 19, a level three hospitality student, has taken on Mr Heath’s role.
She had to fend off six other applicants for the opportunity.
Miss Nightingale said: “I eventually want to be a wedding planner and hospitality is a really good way of getting there.
“We see much more of what happens behind the scenes here than we do in college.”
Hospitality student and aspiring receptionist Sophie Worledge, 17, said: “I’ve learnt a lot in the last few days. It’s a really good opportunity because not many places let students take over.” Although the project is ideal for hospitality students, it is also an opportunity for different students, of travel and tourism, accounting, drama, and others
Students from all over the college are planning a gala dinner at the Norwich North inn on March 1.
The 152 guests will include Norwich North MP Chloe Smith and the IFG global vice president.
They have organised advertising, food, entertainment and much more, including the creation of a secret garden of trees within the dinner hall.
The project also includes a first level food studies group of students with learning disabilities.
Lee Blake, 18, from Cawston, described the work as “fun and easy” and as giving him more confidence.
Their lecturer, Julie Wilson, said: “A lot of them have never experienced a work place before, so this is really good. They seem to be quite enjoying it.”