With university costs rising dramatically and uncertain prospects on the UK job market, many young people are now reassessing their options.
And while some hoteliers complain about a shortage of talent – particularly in filling London jobs within the capital’s growing roster of new hotels, Travelodge has responded with a more creative recruitment strategy.
The fast-expanding budget hotel company announced earlier this month that it was launching its own apprenticeship programme in hotel management for UK school leavers – the first of its kind. The Junior Management Programme (JuMP) aims to “provide a pipeline of new management talent” for the company.
Travelodge is taking a super-proactive stance in recruiting talent. It is offering 500 management apprenticeships and launching a drive to fill the first 50 job vacancies this summer. According to the company, those enrolled on the scheme will “continue their education, obtain work experience, receive a salary and become a manager by the age of 21.”
In a survey of 16-18 year olds carried out by Travelodge, almost three-quarters of respondents said they were currently unsure whether going to university was worth it after the recent increases to tuition fees and the apparent scarcity of graduate jobs. These figures seem to suggest that Travelodge will find no shortage of willing applicants for its scheme.
Travelodge’s CEO, Guy Parsons, commented: “Our nationwide JuMP programme offers school leavers an alternative career choice to going to university. The fast track management programmes provides real jobs, with the opportunity of on the job training throughout the business, combined with further education and the opportunity to earn up to £30,000. [This is] in contrast to going to university and graduating with a debt of £43,224 and facing an overcrowded jobs market.”
He went on to say: “I am aiming that forty to fifty percent of our new hotels will be managed by our Travelodge apprentices by 2015.”
The Travelodge scheme also represents an impressive commitment to internal talent development which other hotels could learn from. The approach of recruiting generalists from outside the traditional hotel training path also mirrors the way in which other budget London hotels recruit staff.
Many of these new management positions will be jobs in London where Travelodge is engaged in a fierce battle with Premier Inn, aiming to open a further ten hotels in the capital before the London 2012 Olympics. This would give it an impressive 50 hotels in London. With the opening of its new Ealing hotel recently, Travelodge became London’s largest hotel chain, boasting 40 hotels with a total of 5,714 rooms.
Anyone interested in applying for the JuMP scheme should contact Travelodge directly by emailing .
Photo credits: Travelodge Hotels.