InterContinental Hotels Groups (IHG) is to launch a hospitality training academy in London and create nearly 3,000 news jobs across the UK over the next three years.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who attended the launch of the IHG Academy programme at the soon-to-open Holiday Inn London Stratford City, welcomed the initiative.
"IHG are leading the way in their sector through a tailored academy programme," he explained. "It's an added investment that means young people can learn the skills for the industry in a local college, and then start their career in a local hotel. This shows real investment in our future workforce, is a huge boost for jobs across the country, but crucially will see local people benefit from training and work."
A total of 2,992 new jobs will be created at IHG's 275 hotels in the UK over the next three years, including 1,144 new jobs this year.
Holiday Inn - an IHG brand - is the official hotel provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and as part of its Olympic legacy, IHG has launched a training academy in partnership with Newham College.
Students will take a six-month tailored course which will combine the best of the Hospitality Skills Diploma NVQ with four weeks practical work experience at an IHG hotel. They will qualify with a Hospitality Level 2 Diploma and will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at entry level at the Holiday Inn London Stratford City and three other IHG hotels in the area that will be creating new jobs.
The training initiative is one of 42 IHG Academy programmes worldwide, which involved 5,500 students last year.
Richard Solomons, IHG's chief executive, said: "The IHG Academy programme allows us to join with local education bodies in the UK and around the world to provide real-life skills and enhance employment prospects for local people. IHG benefits by having access to talent from the neighbourhoods near our hotels."
IHG currently employs over 15,000 people in the UK, and around 24% are aged between 18 and 24.
By Janet Harmer
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