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The announcement was made at the official opening of Premier Inn’s 650th hotel at Waterloo by Employment Minister, Mark Hoban, MP and Whitbread Chairman, Anthony Habgood.
As the UK’s fastest growing hotel chain Premier Inn has created over 1,100 jobs in the past year and the new 234 bedroom Premier Inn at Waterloo, on the site of the old ‘Lying In Hospital’, has provided jobs for 40 people, around half of which have gone to those between the ages of 16-24 and long term unemployed. Demand for the 40 new jobs was high with over 750 applications.
In the past three years, Premier Inn and Whitbread’s restaurants have helped nearly 6,500 people achieve a qualification under its Apprenticeship scheme. 415 apprenticeships were successfully completed by Whitbread in 2012.
Patrick Dempsey, Managing Director of Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said “Whitbread has a long history of helping young people further their careers through apprenticeships, indeed 250 years ago, our founder, Sam Whitbread started out in business on a seven year brewing apprenticeship.
“It’s tough in today’s climate for young people to get into the workplace and find a job that offers them a chance to get on. We have a target of recruiting half of all our new employees from the long term unemployed.
“Premier Inn is the UK’s fastest growing hotel company whose growth in London now means that we can offer over 7,000 bedrooms in the capital. We’re very proud to be able to support people getting a job and giving them an opportunity to gain skills and qualifications through apprenticeships so they can build their career.”
Mark Hoban, MP, Employment Minister, said “Premier Inn has a great record of giving opportunities to job-seekers, offering jobs to 1,100 in 2012, many of whom were unemployed young people.
“I’m delighted to hear that Premier Inn plans to build on this, and has pledged today to give opportunities to 500 young people through our apprenticeship scheme. Theirs is an example that I hope other companies will follow.”
David Way, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service said today “The announcement by Premier Inn that it will be providing 500 Apprenticeships this year shows the importance that leading employers, such as Whitbread are placing on Apprenticeships to help recruit and train talented people.
“Like the best employers, they develop their apprentices to become the high quality professionals they need for growing their business. Through the fast growing numbers of Apprenticeships like these we can show young people and their parents that there are great opportunities to climb the ladder right to the top.”
Jack Cowley, 20, who lives in Westminster, has just joined the team at Premier Inn, Waterloo. He has been out of work for five months and has joined as a Reception Team Member. Commenting on his position he said, “I really love working for Premier Inn because I feel like part of a team that will help me to develop. I have already learned skills that will help me inside and outside work.
“Our team had three weeks of training, which was really enjoyable and it has made me want to work in hospitality as a career. My Operations Manager discussed the Apprenticeship Programme with me and I have decided to sign up for it because I want to learn new skills that are specific to hospitality.”