South Downs students take over Portsmouth hotel for three days

30 May 2012 by
South Downs students take over Portsmouth hotel for three days

Students at South Downs College have boosted their hands-on hospitality experience by taking over the running of the Langstone hotel in Portsmouth for three days.

Operated by BDL Management, the four-star, 148-bedroom Langstone was overseen by more than 40 students aged between 17 and 19.

With 19-year-old Karl Giles (seen here on the right) at the helm in the role of general manager, the students staffed two weddings, a large conference and a birthday party, prepared and served nearly 1,500 covers and cleaned a total of 455 rooms.

To staff the Hayling Island hotel - which includes a two-AA-rosette restaurant, fitness centre and Synergy Beauty Academy - 43 positions were advertised to the students, who had to formally apply and be interviewed by the college and hotel management.

After the takeover, an awards ceremony recognised the hard work of all of the students involved in the project, with a number of the prizes presented courtesy of the initiative's official sponsor, Kenwood.

Neil Taylor, chief operations officer at BDL Management, explained that this was the second time the company had hosted the student takeover. "We were told that we couldn't beat last year's excellent results but all of the students proved that they have what it takes to succeed in our dynamic and fast-moving industry," he said.

"The initiative is a fantastic opportunity for hospitality students to get a hands-on taste of the variety of positions within a hotel environment, while helping to develop a talented and multi-skilled future. While we get the chance to spot the star performers and meet potential employees, we are also able to give something back to the industry.

The experience of being so hands-on in a working environment has helped many of last year's students from South Downs College gain jobs - including Sandy Lowe, who has now been employed as junior operations manager at the Langstone.

The Langstone hotel was also recognised for the initiative, winning the "Young People" award at the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2011 and the "Amazing People in a Sustainable Business Partnership with a School or College" award at the Education Business Partnerships (EBP) Awards 2011.

Video - South Downs College takes over the Langstone hotel >>

Students in charge >>

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

Blogs on ]( Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters]([ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking