Cateys 2022: Education and Training Award: Adrian Ellis, the Lowry hotel

05 July 2022 by
Cateys 2022: Education and Training Award: Adrian Ellis, the Lowry hotel

Adrian Ellis, general manager of the Lowry hotel, wins Education and Training Award, sponsored by

The recruitment of the next generation of skilled candidates as the key to securing future talent for the hospitality industry is a mantra that Adrian Ellis lives by. And as general manager of Manchester's five-AA-star Lowry hotel and chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association, he is passionate about encouraging the rising stars of tomorrow.

Ellis believes in taking action to convince people to join the hospitality sector rather than waiting for them to discover the industry. He walks the talk too, setting up initiatives that include outreach work at secondary schools, colleges and universities in Greater Manchester. His achievements extend from the continued development of Manchester Metropolitan University's mentorship programme, which partners 17 graduates with 17 hotels in the city, to driving an opportunity for 60 Manchester college students to undertake a 45-day work placement in 12 hotels.

He is also behind another programme partnering 20 hotels with 20 schools to provide awareness about the opportunities available within the hospitality industry. It offers students regular events, such as hotel tours, mocktail-making and bed-making competitions. Following the success of this initative, Ellis has been encouraged to engage with representatives from hotel associations in Bristol, Liverpool and Tyneside, who are all now interested in running similar programmes locally.

Ellis is also responsible for the management of online bi-monthly forums with a panel of industry professionals, supported by the Institute of Hospitality. Called ‘Keep the Faith Hospitality', the forums look to enthuse students about industry opportunities and inform them of the challenges operators are going through.

Julia Sibley, the chief executive of the Savoy Educational Trust and a Catey judge, summarised Ellis's success in the area of education and training: "Adrian continually goes above and beyond to make sure he is engaging with the future talent of the industry. The schools programme that he is spearheading with the Manchester Hoteliers Association is a great initiative that can and should be replicated around the country.

"Imagine if every hotel general manager was involved with their local school to demonstrate the tremendous career opportunities the industry has to offer. How powerful would that be!"

What the judges said

"A significant and consistent issue for our industry has been the link between education and industry operatives, and this has never been more crucial than it is today. Adrian's initiatives and contribution have been successful in spanning this gap and provide a brilliant framework for other regions to follow." – Andrew Boer

"Under the umbrella of the Hoteliers' Charter, Adrian set up the linking of hotels with schools to promote hospitality as a first-choice career, and secured Savoy Educational Trust sponsorship for training in how to present to a large group of school students about career opportunities within hotels." – John Cousins

The shortlist

  • Wendy Elliott, Elior UK
  • Adrian Ellis, the Lowry hotel, Salford
  • Andy Mackenzie, Exclusive Collection

The judges

  • Beth Aarons, HR director, the Dorchester
  • Andrew Boer, principal, Edge Hotel School
  • Murray Chapman, director, MCGB
  • David Cochrane, chief executive, HIT Scotland
  • John Cousins, the Food and Beverage Training Company
  • David Foskett, chair, International Hospitality Council, David Foskett Associates
  • David McKown, head of training and quality, University of Sheffield
  • Julia Sibley, chief executive, Savoy Educational Trust
  • Cyrus Todiwala, chef and restaurateur, Café Spice Namaste
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