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The Manchester College students take over the running of city centre hotel

Students from The Manchester College took over the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Manchester city centre last week, as part of an award-winning national ‘Hotel Takeover’ work experience initiative.

Over 30 students from the College’s Hospitality and Catering, Business, ESOL and supported learning and maintenance curriculum areas all took part in the scheme, which provides on-the-job training that can often lead to permanent employment with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the parent organisation of Crowne Plaza.

The students ran every aspect of the hotel, taking on roles including General Manager and Operations Manager; food, beverage and catering; reception; finance; conference and events; maintenance; concierge and housekeeping.

Venus Ubah, a BTEC Business Venture with Entrepreneurship student, said: “I’ve learnt so much this week, it’s been fun to experience the workplace and has helped build my confidence in applying for jobs once I leave college.”

Glynn Mason, Head of Department for Service and Retail Industries at The Manchester College, said: “The Hotel Takeover is extremely timely as the hospitality industry is facing a skills shortage and initiatives like this are crucial in enticing younger generations into a career in hospitality.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to get a glimpse of what work life is like, dealing with real-life situations behind the scenes. I’m really proud of how they’ve taken to it and how well they’ve all done.”

Running for 18 years and traditionally taking place in Norwich, the Hotel Takeover has grown to become one of the biggest events across UK hotels and this year expanded to include more than 1,000 hospitality students across over 30 IHG hotels nationally.