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Acorn Winner 2006: Christian Armstrong

27 April 2006
Acorn Winner 2006: Christian Armstrong

Christian Armstrong
Age: 28
Position: Regional HR manager, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts

Career to date… Armstrong began his career with Forte as a management trainee in 1997, to gain experience of all aspects of hotel work. In 2000, he moved to Posthouse Hotels as an HR administrator and was quickly promoted to personnel and training manager.

He later moved to the post of HR manager for Scotland and the North-east with Bass, ultimately becoming responsible for all HR and training activity across Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn and InterContinental hotel brands in Scotland, before joining Macdonald Hotels and Resorts in 2004 as regional HR manager, where he restructured the department in 2005.

Why is he a winner? Under Armstrong's direction, Macdonald was awarded Scottish Quality Management System (SQMS) status after the regional
HR team spent a year comprehensively reviewing the quality of every aspect of the group's training, learning and development schemes.

Armstrong has also launched a regional apprenticeship programme with support from Scottish Enterprise, seen an improvement in employee attitude scores of 15-20% per question year-on-year, and supported the revision of all company employment policies and procedures, culminating in the production of a new employee handbook.

He is a member of the Springboard (Scotland) Advisory Board, aimed at promoting hospitality, tourism and leisure as a career to potential recruits. He has also been acting chairman of the Glasgow Hoteliers Personnel Forum for two years, bringing together all hotel HR managers in the city on a bi-monthly basis. During that time, he has been highly instrumental in delivery of the Partner School and Ready for Work programmes (in association with JobCentreplus). Both programmes won national awards recognising the level and quality of industry participation.

Finally, he is also the winner of a Partner in Learning award from Careers Scotland, in recognition of the school link programme he set up to encourage more school pupils to plan for a career in the hospitality industry.

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