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College partnership inspires award nomination

The Holiday Inn Hotel in Eastleigh has been nominated for an award in the ‘Developing People’ category in the IHG Europe Hotel Star Awards 2015, related to the work they do in partnership with Eastleigh College!

The award criteria looks for a commitment to employee development, as well as local community work experience. The Holiday Inn has been recognised for its work with Eastleigh College on the Holiday Inn Takeover, an event organised at the beginning of this year where 80 Hospitality and Catering students from the College took over the entire hotel for 26 hours. Students were assigned job roles which spanned across the business, from housekeeping and bar staff to Duty Manager and General Manager. The process involved a full application, interview and selection process, along with a detailed induction before the takeover.

The takeover has led to a long-term relationship between Holiday Inn and Eastleigh College, which has enabled the College to host careers talks with Holiday Inn representatives, arrange tours and activities days at the Holiday Inn hotel, and offer work experience placements to students. The next takeover is planned for January 2016, and the students are already busy applying for their roles.

This partnership has helped the Holiday Inn secure future talent, with eight students already employed at the hotel in various different roles, and it has helped the students gain relevant experience in a workplace environment.

Sue Lyons, Hospitality and Catering Lecturer, said “The Holiday Inn takeover is a great project. We believe this is a tremendous opportunity for our students and the department, as well as building a great relationship with such a reputable local establishment.”

Commenting on their nomination in the ‘Developing People’ category Alastair Lawson, General Manager at the Holiday Inn Eastleigh, said “It is a great honour for our hotel to be nominated for an IHG Europe Star Award for our team efforts in developing people both in the hotel and externally with our extensive work with Eastleigh College.”

“Without doubt the biggest external success we have undertaken was the project led by my colleague Elisabeth Holmes to work with Eastleigh College to run the hotel for a 26 hour period. The impressive part of this was that the students went through the entire employment process from writing an application letter, preparing a CV, to interviews and induction. This will be repeated again in 2016, which we are all looking forward to and hope that we can continue in years to come.”

The Holiday Inn in Eastleigh is also nominated for awards in two other categories: Holiday Inn Hotel of the Year and Holiday Inn General Manager of the Year. On behalf of everyone at Eastleigh College, we wish the Holiday Inn the best of luck at the awards ceremony, which takes place in London on Wednesday 11th November 2015.