Burnley students take over hotel for the day

This Is Lancashire: Ibraaheem Hyder, 14, on reception Ibraaheem Hyder, 14, on reception

BURNLEY students had no reservations about running one of the town's biggest hotels for the day.

Around 21 youngsters from Sir John Thursby Community College carried out duties including managing the kitchens, housekeeping and reception at the Holiday Inn Express.

The budding hoteliers, aged 13 to 16, even hosted a European-themed lunch for top North West business leaders and foreign guests, including the CEO of Burnley's biggest employer, Stéphane Cueille from Aircelle.

The Hotel Burnley project, the only scheme of its kind in the UK, proved such a success last year that the college was invited back to run the hotel again.

And some of the students did so well last year that they have even landed jobs at the 102-bedroom venue.

All students taking part in the project had to go through a formal job application and interview process before being selected to work at the hotel.

Students used language skills in German and French and negotiated hotel bookings across Europe, as this year's project was focused on language skills in the work place.

It also enabled a strong link between leading Intercontinental Hotels in Marseille and Munich.

Head teacher David Burton said many of the students, such as 17-year-old Harry Clegg, now had part-time jobs at the hotel, off Pendle Way, near junction 10 of the M65.

He said: “It is fabulous for our students to work with the Holiday Inn Express as our Business in the Community partner. Last year, our students ran the hotel for a day and received fantastic reviews. This year, they are also looking at the importance of foreign languages and communication in the hotel to make sure every guest has the best possible experience.”

Kerian Barnes, Holiday Inn Express general manager, said: “This year’s Business in the Community is the most challenging project so far undertaken in partnership with the Sir John Thursby Community College and our colleagues in Europe.

“Languages in the workplace are a very relevant and current topic in hospitality, travel and tourism and play such an important role now in the development and economic growth of business.”

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