Sleepwell Hotels has announced the launch of a specialised Training Academy designed to furnish unemployed persons with the experience and entry level qualifications necessary to gain access to the Island’s tourism and hospitality industry. Based at the Rutland Hotel, the academy will cater for an intake of 13 unemployed Manx workers and provide departmental training over a four week period. This will entail the completion of an introductory personal motivation course, three one-day courses in Health & Safety, Food Hygiene and Customer Service, and one week per course in Reception, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage Services and Food Production, at The Rutland. Candidates will be assessed upon completion of the three one day courses with a multiple choice exam, after which a certificate will be awarded to those successful by the Isle of Man College. Those who complete the full Training Academy programme will also be given the opportunity to interview for a position within the Sleepwell Group.
Implemented on the 21st January, 2013, the Sleepwell Hotels Training Academy came into effect on the same day that the Department of Economic Development announced renewed efforts to address the issue of employability amongst young people on the Island. Formulated as a response to the findings of the Employability, Productivity and Leadership conference of October 2012, the DeD’s blueprint for the future entails plans to ‘further encourage employers’ engagement in education, to better tailor careers education and guidance, to improve work experience opportunities for young people and to find ways of better communicating job market opportunities to schools and young people’. As such, the initiative will play an important role in providing young persons not in employment, education or training with a ‘route to career’ in the Island’s considerable and highly specialised tourism and hospitality sector through a coordinated approach to education and the working environment. The news also comes in the wake of recent findings from an International Labour Organisation report which forecasts a rise in youth unemployment to almost 13% in emerging economies by 2017.
Tony Wild MLC, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Employment and Skills, said:
‘One of the Department of Economic Development’s aims is to increase opportunities for employment in the Isle of Man and this is a great example of the Government and our local business community working together. I hope that following this valuable programme the students will continue to benefit from the newly acquired skills this short course will provide.’
Andy Stewart, Group Manager, Employment and Skills Division, Department of Economic Development said:
‘The Training Academy will allow those seeking employment the chance to develop a wide range of vocational, social and general employability skills. I’m very pleased that we are working with Sleepwell Hotels to play a role in giving local people the opportunity to develop a career in the tourism and hospitality industry. I wish to acknowledge and thank the management and staff for their continued support and commitment to their community job training programmes.’
Commenting on the launch of the Training Academy, Linda Maddrell, Human Resources Manager for Sleepwell Hotels stated: “Employers within the hospitality and tourism sector demand a high degree of specialization and dedication from trained candidates and this is especially true on the Isle of Man. As such, it can often be a challenge to source persons of the right calibre and who are furnished with the experience necessary to meet the standards of both our hotels, restaurants and the visiting public. Initiatives such as this are a perfect solution to the problem of both engaging with young persons who may be struggling in the current economic climate while meeting the growing needs of the Island’s tourism and hospitality employers without looking further afield. I would like to thank the Department of Economic Development for their help and support throughout the formulation and launch of this initiative and look forward to working closely with Andy Stewart, Tony Wild and our students in the future.”