The Prince’s Trust and Marriot have been working together since 2011, to provide more opportunities for disadvantaged young people. And with last year seeing youth unemployment reach record levels, Marriot Hotel County Hall is keen to ‘give something back’ to the community.
“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,” said the hotel’s general manager Theresa Maw.
“As a Marriott hotel we are committed to working directly with the local community to support and develop the potential of those keen to develop a career in the hospitality industry.”
In light of this added commitment, London Marriott Hotel County Hall has launched the ‘Housekeeping Challenge’ - a work experience activity which enables 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 property’s five-star 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 Castronovo 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 three Housekeeping Challenges, offering career advice, support and training to 20 young people - with ambitions to double this support in 2013.
The hotel has also recently taken on two employees from The Prince’s Trust's ‘Fairbridge’ programme, 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.
London Marriott Hotel County Hall’s director of human resources Alex Dimsdale 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 for even more students in 2013.”
Dermot Finch, The Prince’s Trust’s 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 to even more students in 2013 and beyond.”
Despite an on-going tough economic backdrop, an increasing number of hospitality businesses across the UK are partnering with charities to raise money through menu donations and fundraising events. Read our special Ideas from your Peers column on this here.