In a strategy that includes opening a new hotel every 10 days, the Whitbread-owned hotel chain has also pledged an additional 2,000 apprenticeships and 4,500 work placements for young people in the UK by 2018.
Today’s announcement was made at the opening of Premier Inn's latest hotel, in Monument, London, by Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants managing director Patrick Dempsey, and the Minister for Employment, Esther McVey MP.
The new 184-bedroom hotel has provided 20 new jobs, all of which have gone to the long-term unemployed. Within the M25 alone, Premier Inn plans to have 20,000 rooms and create around 2,500 new jobs by 2018. The company has claimed to have already created 1,100 jobs in the past year.
According to Dempsey, Premier Inn remained committed to offering opportunities to unemployed people.
He said: “We have a target of recruiting half of our new team members from the long-term unemployed, and we offer a robust and structured qualification pathway.
“We especially want young people to know that hospitality is a career path that is open to them and its one they could excel in. The Big Hospitality Conversation is a key pillar of activity for the British Hospitality Association, and as an industry it has already pledged over 32,000 jobs, apprenticeships and work placements and that number could double by 2014.
Dempsey also announced that the hotel chain is to work in partnership with Believe in Young People, a charity that works with schools to develop and support young people as they move into the workplace.
Tanja Kuveljic, chief executive of Believe in Young People, said “We are delighted and privileged to receive the support from Whitbread and Premier Inn. This partnership is making a huge difference to thousands of young people in secondary education and helps them to make an effective transition into relevant employment.
“Together, we have developed a groundbreaking programme to connect employers to schools at a local level and provide a quality pipeline, which meets future workforce requirements. Our shared values and vision combined with amazing people has made this possible to help communities across the country.”
Esther McVey, Minister for Employment, said: “I was delighted to hear that Premier Inn will be creating 8,000 new jobs over the next five years.
“Its commitment to offer half of these new jobs to long-term unemployed young people is particularly welcome, and is an example that I hope other businesses will follow.”
In August, Premier Inn was named the best known hotel brand in Britain, knocking Hilton off the top spot for the first time in 17 years.