Apprentices on Travelodge's new fast-track management programme for school-leavers began work today.
The Junior Management Programme (JuMP) intends to offer A-level students an alternative to going to university and a managerial position within one of the 462 Travelodges across the UK by the age of 21. During the two-year programme, the 33 apprentices can each expect to earn between £25,000 and £30,000.
With a target of 1,100 hotels by 2025, the JuMP programme will provide a pipeline of new managers, ensuring 45% of new hotels will be managed by former apprentices by 2015.
Chief executive of Travelodge, Guy Parsons (seen here with the apprentices), said that he had been overwhelmed by the interest in the programme and the calibre of applications. "At the end of the year, we will start the recruitment process for our 2012 class, where we are looking to fulfil 125 positions," he said.
One of the first apprentices, Dina Charalambous, said that university was not an option for her because of the increasing cost of higher education.
"On the JuMP programme I will get a lot more, minus a debt of £40,000," she said, referring to the cost of university attendance. "Over the next two years I will receive the right training to become a hotel manager, be able to study for additional qualifications, get paid and at the end of the programme I will get my very own hotel to manage. It does not get better than this."
Charalambous will undergo her training at the Cardiff Atlantic Wharf Travelodge.
Apprentices will experience on-the-job training in hotel management, retail, operations, marketing and customer service. Upon completing the programme, they will undertake the Travelodge in-house 12-week management programme and then graduate to a management role.
By Janet Harmer
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