Amidst record youth unemployment and spiralling university costs, young people seeking a footing on a secure career ladder may well be feeling disillusioned at this point. But it seems that many are keen on hotel jobs, as evidenced by a staggering amount of applications for Travelodge’s new management apprenticeship scheme. The JuMP (Junior Management Programme) at the fast-expanding budget hotel chain aims to provide a fast track into hotel management for school leavers, with the promise of vital training, work experience, a salary, and the prospect of a management position by the age of 21. First announced last year, it has proven very popular indeed. Since the latest recruitment process for the scheme began in January, more than 3,000 young people have applied for the 45 apprenticeship positions available on the scheme, with London proving particularly popular.Graduates looking for fast-track career development might find what they are looking for at a Travelodge Hotel. The opening of the Travelodge Waterloo is pictured above.
Despite being London’s largest hotel chain, Travelodge was surprised by the scale of interest in the scheme. Michelle Luxford, the firm’s HR director said: “The demand for our apprenticeship programme and hotel positions is like nothing I have ever seen before in my career. We have had candidates from all corners of the UK applying for a place on our JuMP programme.” Fast-track management training to match rapid expansion The most current bout of recruitment for the scheme, which saw the equivalent of 66 young people apply for each of the 45 positions, is in addition to 35 school leavers who joined the scheme last year. Travelodge plans to recruit a total of 120 apprentices to its scheme this year, coinciding with the planned opening of more than forty new hotels by the hotel group in 2012. This itself is part of a wider expansion strategy to have 1,100 hotels in the UK by 2025 – more than double its current 472.Travelodge provides great value in the budget sector, free Wifi in its bars and cafes, and a promising opportunity for job-seekers.
The ambition of the JuMP scheme and its popularity proves the potential within the hotel industry of providing a rewarding and stable career path for young people. It is also an example of a feasible alternative to a university education, at a time when many are put off by expensive tuition fees and uncertain employment prospects. Ms. Luxford believes that Travelodge’s approach is the way forward, commenting that, “with over a million 16-24 year-olds unemployed, more companies have to invest in apprenticeship programmes to help these youngsters into the workplace.” Indeed, we hope to see a shift in hospitality recruitment to attracting this demographic as means to revitalise the economy and to fill more hospitality jobs.
Photo credits: MiiiSH, Travelodge.