Unemployed check-in to new jobs thanks to college course

Unemployed people are securing jobs in the hospitality sector thanks to a pioneering new course created by one of the world’s biggest hotel chains and Gateshead College.

Twenty formerly unemployed people aged from 19 to 54 attended the training programme developed by Gateshead College in partnership with global hotel chain, Marriott International and so far half have secured jobs.

Candidates are referred onto the six week course by Jobcentre Plus. They spend the first two weeks learning theory at Gateshead College before going on to complete four weeks work experience with Marriott International.

Tom Jobes, 54, from Bensham, was made redundant in 2011 from his job as a car mechanic, a role he had held for 34 years. His wife suggested that he would be suited to a career in hospitality and leisure but it was not until he met with tutors at Gateshead College that he felt confident he could manage the career change.

Tom successfully completed the training and is now a lobby ambassador at the MetroCentre Marriott.

He said: “I’ve now been employed by Marriott for a few weeks and I’m really enjoying it, the people I’m working with are brilliant and have made me feel at home.

“At first I didn’t have the confidence that I could make a complete career change but the team at Gateshead College were fantastic and convinced me to give the course a go, I’m so glad that I did.”

Others successful in gaining employment following the course are Dean Hartland who is a linen porter and Randolph Paul now a commis chef, both at Marriott MetroCentre with Tom. Glenn Carr is a commis chef at Gosforth Marriott and he is joined by Aiden William and Tafadzwa Unonga. 

Four more successful students secured employment in hospitality positions outside of the Marriott International chain. Natasha Davis is joining New Kent Hotel in Jesmond, Scott Brown landed a food and beverage role at Hungry Horse Restaurant at the MetroCentre, Issam Hawius landed a role at Legends Bar and William Howe will be working at a hotel in the Scottish Highlands.

Liz Carlucci, of the essential business skills team at Gateshead College, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with how the programme has gone and we have already planned our next intake of students with the Marriott.

“It’s so rewarding being able to work with people of all ages who are full of drive and enthusiasm and who commit themselves to the course and secure employment as a result of the training.

“Gateshead College is committed to working with industry leaders in order to create tailored training which enables candidates to be work-ready with the skills and knowledge required to succeed and bring real value to businesses.”

Libbi Benson, who works in HR at Marriott International, said: “The Newcastle Marriott Hotels are very pleased with the success of our first course. We now have several new associates working with us via this route and we hope they become established and successful with Marriott International. 

“We would like to thank Jobcentre Plus and Gateshead College for their excellent communication, support and advice throughout the project. We look forward to holding many more programmes in the future across the North East to attract local talent into the hospitality industry and the Marriott brand.”

Anyone interested in joining the next training programme with Gateshead College and Marriott should go along to the open day presentations at the Marriott Hotel MetroCentre on October 22at 10.30am or 5.30pm.