Steven Crowther, apprentice at Mint Hotel

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Mint Hotel welcomes apprentices from The Manchester College  

Participating in The Manchester College’s apprenticeship programme provided Mint Hotel in Manchester with a skilled and loyal employee who is being trained to industry standards and understands the unique values of the company.

When Mint Hotel in city centre Manchester was looking to recruit an apprentice they contacted the college to find out about the apprentice scheme. It was agreed that the college would provide Mint Hotel with a number of students on short term work placements, allowing the hotel to try out potential apprentices before choosing a student to permanently join the company.

Kirsty Cooper, work placement officer at the college, arranged for five level 1 painting and decorating students to complete a week of work experience so that the hotel could see how each of them fit into their team, assess their painting and decorating skills and how they interacted with guests.

Peter Rose, property manager at Mint Hotel, was keen to involve apprentices in the hotel as he had been an apprentice himself and knew the benefits apprenticeships could bring to the company. Peter said: ‘The students were all excellent, polite, well mannered, eager and willing to work. The level of their work is excellent, one of our experienced painters has been giving them tips, but they were already at a high standard. This is the first time we have had work experience students and we are very impressed. It was definitely a tough decision to choose which one would be our apprentice as they were all so good.’

Eighteen year old Steven Crowther from Collyhurst was chosen from the five work placement students to be the hotel’s apprentice and started work in January 2011. He works at the hotel four days per week and comes to college for one day per week to gain his Painting and Decorating Level 2 Diploma; he will also be studying for Level 2 and 3 NVQs in Painting and Decorating. Steven said: ‘I was really excited and happy to be chosen. I really wanted to be an apprentice because I’ll get the best of both worlds, qualifications and experience. I’m really enjoying working at the hotel.’

Evelina Niziolek, HR Manager at the hotel, said: ‘In terms of benefits for the hotel, having apprentices improves our image in the community and it brings down the cost of recruitment. The largest benefit of getting an apprentice, especially one who has already studied at college is that they want to do the job, they are not just after any job, you know they care about the profession.’

The Manchester College and Mint Hotel are building on their relationship and the college will be training one of the hotel’s maintenance engineers in plumbing. The hotel is also looking at other courses that the college provides that would benefit their staff and have adopted The Manchester College as their training provider for the hotel. Once Steven has been fully trained and completed his apprenticeship, the hotel hope to continue the apprenticeship programme and plan to take on another apprentice through the college.

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