Teaching hotel to open in London

08 June 2006
Teaching hotel to open in London

by angela frewin

Vocational training foundation the Edge is planning to launch London's first fully commercial teaching hotel.

The 30- to 40-bedroom boutique property in central London will provide on-the-job training for up to 300 students a year and count towards recognised qualifications from NVQs to degrees. It will be equipped with a restaurant, meeting room, spa and beauty facilities and be run by a commercial operator.

Trainees will be deployed across the full range of customer-facing roles, from kitchen porters at level one to management positions at degree level. "Students will experience for themselves exactly what's required in the hotel workplace and their future employers will be provided with people who don't just have paper qualifications, but solid experience of a range of hotel-industry skills," said Edge chairman Garry Hawkes.

Hotel profits would be reinvested to fund more teaching hotels in major UK cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Development director John Kerr expects to open the London hotel within 18-24 months of procuring a site.

The Edge is currently in talks with a number of potential operators, including the Stein Group, which already runs Amsterdam's commercial hotel school and manages London's Cadogan hotel.

Kerr said he aims to forge links with more than one operator to enable students to experience a range of establishments, such as Claridge's or Hilton.

* A 200-bedroom teaching hotel for up to 60 students a year is earmarked to open in Bournemouth in the spring of 2008 under the management of Paramount Hotels.

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