As well as being general manager of the five-AA-star, 165-bedroom Lowry hotel in Manchester, Adrian Ellis is chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association. He tells Katherine Price about the MHA's work around recruitment, sustainability and charity, and its schemes to bring more conferences and events to the city
Having been chair of the Manchester Hoteliers Association for three years, how far into your strategy are you?
Some parts are more advanced than others. On the sustainability part, we've still got quite a long way to go, although there are some good initiatives out there. We're working with a company called Clean the World, looking at whether we can reuse soaps and/or plastic containers and we're also working with an energy management consultant.
What we've found is that recruitment was mostly focused around Manchester, so we're trying to spread our wings a bit. We're obviously working with the universities in the city, but we're also looking at other universities up and down the country as well as the Edge Hotel School in Essex. We're collaborating with homeless charities and Springboard and with some schools on delivering a better education on what's going on in the hospitality field.
Which of your initiatives has been the most successful?
Probably our tie-in with the universities, because we have seen quite a good flow from our liaison universities and students starting with us on placements or full-time.
Tell us about the HR charter you're working on
We obviously want the local population to be part of what we're doing here, but there simply aren't enough candidates coming forward to fill the positions.
The charter is all about saying that if you come to Manchester, there will be minimum standards available in the hotels. That could be the number of hours' training provided or some sort of benefits card that can be used around the city for hotel workers. Maybe it's events that they could go to or opportunities to move to other properties in the city.
Where did that idea come from? Has it been done elsewhere?
It was just something we felt we should have, so we could say to people who don't know Manchester: "this is a great place to come and work and live". Hopefully, by the end of this year, we'll have our Manchester Hoteliers' Charter.
Why are conferences a particular focus for you?
With 23-26 hotels coming into the city in the next four years, there's a huge amount of supply. We need conferences and major events to come to the city. We specialise in trips to wow those particular delegations, who are maybe looking at a number of cities. The hotels work closely together to make sure they have an amazing experience, and therefore, off the back of that, accept Manchester as the location for their next event.
What are your hopes for the next five years for Manchester's hotels?
You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.
Already subscribed? Log In