The long-term unemployed will make up three-quarters of the staff that have been recruited at the new Travelodge hotel chain in London, Southwark, which opens next week.
Of the 50 staff hired to the chain, 31 had previously been long-term unemployed. They have filled housekeeping, reception and bar and café roles, and will have the same chance as other employees to progress onto the Travelodge Management Development Programme (LEP) within the next two years.
The government earlier this year urged employers to enter into the Local Employment Partnership scheme, run through employment agency Job Centre Plus to get the most needy unemployed back to work.
Travelodge chief executive Grant Hearn said: “Our purpose at Travelodge is to make hotels available to everyone, and that means jobs too. We plan to open a hotel every six working days in the UK for many years to come, creating over 10, 000 new jobs.
“If this scheme means we can give opportunities to those who struggle to gain employment, then our unprecedented growth plan will prove to be even more successful.”
The budget hotel chain has pledged that 25% of all new recruits will come from the Job Centre Plus scheme once the project is nationwide. Employment minister Stephen Timms told Personnel Today that LEPs will help employees increase their intake of black and minority ethnic staff.
Travelodge aims to open up to 700 new hotels over the next decade, creating well over 10, 000 UK jobs. Openings this year include hotels in Edinburgh, London, Brighton, Blackpool and Birmingham.