From reception to the kitchen, one of Teesside’s top hotels was taken over recently by Middlesbrough College students.
Jurys Inn in Fry Street welcomed a team of catering and hospitality to work across the hotel with the help of staff ‘buddies’ and get a glimpse into what life’s really like at a four-star establishment.
The event – the second of its kind – was organised by Middlesbrough College curriculum team leader Michael Jones.
He said: “We had ten students working at the hotel in positions ranging from the reception desk to the bar, the kitchen and also in the meeting and events department.
“It’s the second year we’ve done this, and we’re grateful to Jurys for giving the students a really useful glimpse into the kind of work they’ll be doing in their careers – the students did really well in their roles.”
Jurys Inn general manager Damon Roberts said the hotel was delighted to be involved.
“These students are the future of our industry, and it’s great to be able to give them a real-life experience,” he said.
“We found them extremely well-prepared this year. We went to the college to give the students an insight into the hotel first, and they then applied for the positions, and went through an interview for selection.”
The students – who are on BTEC catering and hospitality courses ranging from Level 1 to 3 – all thoroughly enjoyed their two days at the hotel, where they were buddied up with a member of staff and worked the same shifts as them.
Some of the students may even find they’ve given their career an early boost.
Damon said: “We employ Middlesbrough College students in our banqueting team, and some of the students who have been on the takeover days have already applied.”
Middlesbrough College principal and chief executive Zoe Lewis praised the initiative, which is one of many opportunities the college sets up for students with the help of local employers.
“This kind of experience is invaluable – some of our retail students recently helped Marks and Spencer with a pop-up shop in town and found it extremely valuable,” she said.
“We love to work with prestigious local employers such as Jurys Inn, because our links with business and industry are the lifeblood of our practical learning process.”