‘Ho­tel academy’ to open doors for staff at new Belfast de­vel­op­ments

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Nijobfinder.co.uk - BY JOHN MUL­GREW

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.”

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