Dunston woman checks in to new hotel career

Julia Benns, 30, has landed a job with leading international hotel group Marriott after participating in a retraining course which has been designed to provide unemployed people with the skills and confidence employers require to secure work with local companies

Gateshead College worked with Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and Marriott to tailor the course to help the hotel chain recruit several new employees.

The course, which is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is unemployed, is designed to provide applicants with a clear understanding of what Marriott is looking for in its new employees and teaches basic employability skills such as interview techniques and presentation skills.   

Julia heard about the programme through Jobcentre Plus. She successfully completed two-weeks training at the college and a four week work placement with the hotel group before securing the job as a full time leisure assistant at Gosforth Marriott.

Julia struggled to find full-time employment in a gym after completing her Level 2 gym instructor’s qualification in 2010, she said: “I had been searching for work for nearly three years, so taking this course has been crucial in enabling me to secure employment and get back to work.

“After completing two weeks in the leisure club at Marriott I was supposed to move onto housekeeping, but having excelled during my time at the club they asked me to stay there for a further two weeks.

“I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to complete this course. It’s been so hard to find a job and the programme really helped me gain new skills.”

Following completion of the training all candidates are guaranteed an interview with Marriott.

Julia added: “I really wanted to be a personal trainer but the cost and study time implications meant I couldn’t as I needed to earn a living.

“Marriott has already committed to supporting me through gym instructor courses as well as sending me on lifeguard training, so my future career now looks a lot brighter.”

As a Marriott leisure assistant, she will be responsible for such tasks as manning the reception, maintaining gym equipment and new member inductions.

Liz Carlucci, business growth manager at Gateshead College, added: “Julia was a fantastic candidate for Marriott and really excelled throughout the course. She really impressed them during her work placement with her ability and enthusiasm. 

“This course is a fantastic opportunity for motivated individuals to get back to work and join a prestigious and established hotel group.

“Gateshead College is delighted to be working with our strategic partner, Jobcentre Plus, to support unemployed people in the North East and enable them to be work-ready with the skills and knowledge required to succeed.”

The recruitment drive for Marriott is the latest in a number of initiatives run by Gateshead College in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to support unemployed people to secure employment. Through similar programmes the college has supported individuals to get back to work with TUI, DHL Logistics and Nissan.

For more information please visit www.gateshead.ac.uk.