Hotel chain InterContinental has launched an apprenticeship programme to fast-track frontline staff into supervisor and manager roles.
About 100 workers will undertake an NVQ in hotel management, with a guaranteed promotion on successful completion.
Tracy Robbins, executive vice-president of global HR, said she was asking general mangers to star-spot among frontline staff.
“Common sense and the right attitude are often all it takes to get noticed,” she said. “Our focus is not just on bringing in new people, but on engaging and motivating existing staff.”
Staff shortages in the hotel industry are particularly acute in provincial areas because there is a higher concentration of experienced workers and foreign nationals in large cities, she added.
InterContinental, the firm behind the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, also unveiled plans to recruit more than 4,000 people across the UK over the next five years.
The staff shopping list includes 44 general managers – one for each new hotel in development – 350 heads of department, more than 500 supervisors plus a frontline workforce of 3,000, which includes kitchen porters, housekeepers and receptionists.
The nationwide push is part of a global search to find more than 130,000 people to support the company’s expansion plans. Intercontinental plans to more than double its Chinese workforce as 107 new hotels open in the country over the next three to five years.