‘Hotel academy’ to open doors for staff at new Belfast developments
A NEW ‘ hotel academy’ is being set up to train hundreds of staff to work in the city’s growing hospitality sector.
The scheme, which is being run by Belfast City Council and two soon-to-open hotels, aims to help both “recruit almost 200 staff and is open to anyone living in the Belfast City Council area who is currently out of work, or works less than 16 hours a week”.
The programme is being run alongside Hastings Hotels, which is behind the new 304-bedroom Grand Central at Bedford Street, and Dalata’s Maldron hotel, due to open on Brunswick Street.
In a joint statement, Stephen Mcnally, deputy chief executive of Dalata Hotel Group, and How- ard Hastings, chief executive of Hastings Hotels, said: “It is a very exciting time for us in the hotel industry, as it is one of almost unprecedented growth, with new developments the length and breadth of the city centre.
“Obviously, these developments represent a considerable financial commitment on behalf of ourselves and the other operators concerned. But, just as impor- tantly, they are an investment in the city of Belfast — and its people. It is for this reason that we are delighted to be involved in this exciting initiative, which will ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunities to pursue a career in the hotel industry and avail of the prospects it can open up for them.”
The first academy will start in January, with others taking place early in 2018. The scheme includes two weeks of training, in areas such as customer care, food safety and health and safety.
Helping to launch the scheme, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nuala Mcallister, said: “Belfast City Council recognises that creating viable, long-term job opportunities for our people is paramount to our vision for a successful and vibrant city, now and in the future.”
John Mcgrillen, chief executive of Tourism NI, said the ‘ hotel academy’ scheme “will ensure that those entering the tourism industry are equipped with skills and knowledge to maximise career opportunities and in turn increase business capacity and performance.
“I commend the private and public sector approach of this programme.”