In March our Work Skills programme continued with parents of children under 4 and expectant parents heading to the Holiday Inn Hotel in Southend to learn about the benefits of paid employment for them and life in the hotel industry.

Coming off the back of feedback from parents, the industry visit saw 17 local parents head to the hotel at the doorstep of Southend Airport. Parents discovered the different roles that exist within the industry from staff at the hotel including the General Manager, while staff also told them how they were recruited to their posts. Holiday Inn’s HR Manager was on hand to give inside tips on the type of questions asked at a Holiday Inn/hotel industry interview as well as advising on how to apply for positions.

Immediate success

As is becoming a theme with the Work Skills programme, the industry trip proved to be very popular with the parents, who were also given a tour of the departments and shown the day-to-day activities and structure of the organisation. Parents’ feedback included: “You are never too old to change your career!”, “I enjoyed today and found great interest in some of the roles” and “The whole event felt very warm and welcoming”.

And choosing to attend the event proved immediately productive for some parents, who were invited back for an interview at the company, having impressed the company management so much.

Rachel James, HR Manager of Holiday Inn, said: “We were really keen to support the Work Skills programme and help get members of our community back into work by letting them know what working in hospitality is like. The parents were really participative and engaged and we have already contacted some attendees inviting them in for interview, as well as arranging work experience.”

Amir Girnary, Skills Project Officer with the Work Skills Programme, commented: “The event was really well organised and the parents all got an enormous amount from it. The activities were interesting and stimulating and helped parents understand the skills needed for the roles. Parents were very well treated by the Holiday Inn and found out some great inside tips on the recruitment process. The feedback from parents was excellent and the session was so popular we had a waiting list for it!”

If you are interested in taking part in the A Better Start Work Skills programme, please contact Donna Frost, Skills Project Apprentice, on 01702 212846 donnafrost@southend.gov.uk   

Click to find out about upcoming events with the Work Skills programme.

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