The 5* London Marriott Hotel County Hall today announces growth of its partnershipwith leading youth charity The Prince’s Trust, providing training and coaching opportunities for young people keen to develop a career in the hospitality industry.
2012 saw youth unemployment reach a record high, over 1.2m in the UK. The Prince’s Trust and Marriott hotels have been working together nationally, to provide opportunities for disadvantaged young people and the London Marriott Hotel County Hall hotel has recently taken on two employees from The Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme.
Located in the heart of Westminster the London Marriott Hotel County Hall has worked with The Prince’s Trust and its Fairbridge programme since 2011, supporting the ‘Employ Me’ course which offers disadvantaged young people the opportunity to gain an insight into the world of work. The course concentrates on key employability skills for young people who do not have access to education, employment or training with work experience opportunities in a range of hospitality roles including front of house, housekeeping and food and beverage.
The London Marriott Hotel County Hall ‘Housekeeping Challenge’ is a work experience activity, enabling young people to put hospitality theory into practice. The hotel’s Executive Housekeeper Vince Castronovo briefs students on the features, facilities and steps involved in preparing a room fit to the 5* standard for guests. The young people then have the opportunity to return a ‘distressed’ room back to its perfect state. Their efforts are filmed and evaluated by the Executive Housekeeper before the group is then offered the chance to undertake five hours of supervised work experience at the hotel in a department of their choice with a view to then securing a contract of employment to further develop their careers. To date the London Marriott Hotel County Hall has held threeHousekeeping Challenges offering career, support and training to 20 young people with ambitions to double this support in 2013.
Manuel da Costa and Jonathan Zepeda are two young people who have taken part in the ‘Employ Me’ programme at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall.
Sixteen-year-old Manuel da Costa from Waterloo began with the Fairbridge Programme by joining the maths and English courses. Manuel then joined the London Marriott HotelCounty Hall as part of the ‘Employ Me’ course working with a team of Marriott chefs to learn more about careers in the culinary and hospitality industries. Following the course Manuel now works part-time in the hotel’s kitchen under the guidance of Executive Chef Gareth Bowen whilst continuing his studies and has ambitions to one day open his own restaurant.
Seventeen-year-old Jonathan Zepeda from Vauxhall is now employed at the hotel as a member of the Housekeeping team. Learning how to work as a team as well as the key elements of customer service and adhering to the hotels’ strict, 5* standards have enabled Jonathan to develop his self-confidence. He now has ambitions to develop his career to Housekeeping Supervisor and one day work as a manager.
Commenting on the partnership, Theresa Maw General Manager for the London Marriott Hotel County Hall said, “It is truly inspiring to see young people realise their career ambitions with the guidance and support of both the team at the hotel and at The Prince’s Trust. As a Marriott hotel we are committed to ‘give something back’ and working directly with the local community to support and develop the potential of those keen to develop a career in the hospitality industry.”
Alex Dimsdale, Director of Human Resources for the London Marriott Hotel County Hall added: “We have partnered with The Prince’s Trust since 2011 and have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism of the students that we have worked with. The Housekeeping Challenge has been developed specifically to practically realise this commitment and we look forward to developing opportunities foreven more students in 2013.”
Dermot Finch, The Prince’s Trust Regional Director for the South added: “We are hugely grateful to the team at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall for the support and opportunities they have provided our young people.Working with a company that has such a strong reputation means our young people have an opportunity to forge the start of a promising career with an industry leader. We look forward to growing and developing this opportunity toeven more students in 2013 and beyond.”