Educational partnership continues between Dolan Hotels and Highlands College with work placement scheme
A Travel and Tourism student from Highlands College spent the week shadowing the reception team at the Somerville Hotel as part of Dolan’s on-going educational outreach programme.
Sofia Abreu attended a week-long work placement at the hotel between the 24th and 28th February, when she was encouraged to get involved with the day-to-day tasks of running a successful hospitality business. These included front-of-house duties such as taking restaurant bookings, checking in / out guests and assisting with general enquiries from the hotel guests.
Andrew Shrimpton, director of Dolan Hotels, said: ‘I have had some great feedback from the receptions staff at the Somerville Hotel, who were all really impressed with Sofia’s commitment to the work shadowing scheme. It is vitally important that local students receive access to practical work experience in fields relevant to their qualifications and I’m delighted that the students at Highlands College are so keen to get a taste for the hospitality trade here in Jersey.’
The Dolan educational outreach programme was launched in October 2013, initially offering tailored support and advise to students studying at the four state-funded secondary schools in Jersey. Students from Years 10 and 11 at Le Rocquier, Les Quennevais, Grainville and Haute Vallee paired up with each of Dolan’s four properties (three hotels and a restaurant) to receive expert guidance and practical exposure to the daily functions of the hospitality industry.
Following the programme’s initial success, Dolan invited Highlands College to join the programme in 2014, resulting in the provision of further assistance to students studying Travel and Tourism and Business Management through work placement schemes and training days. This work placement scheme follows the recent housekeeping training day in January, which gave hospitality students studying at Highlands College an opportunity to gain practical exposure to the various roles of housekeeping as part of their school curriculum.
Mr Shrimpton, added: ‘I am pleased that Highlands College have opted to join our educational outreach programme this year. The initial feedback that we received from the participating schools was really positive, with many hoping to take further advantage of the partnership in 2014. Practical exposure to the industry in an integral part of the school curriculum and we hope that training days such as this will assist with the students’ academic progress and future career development.’
Lisa de Gruchy, curriculum manager of Business at Highlands College commented: ‘This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for our students. A partnership with such a successful, local business like the Dolan Group offers our students from both the Business and Travel & Tourism subject areas the opportunity to place their theoretical learning into practice and observe and experience life in a real organisation. The expertise of the business professionals at Dolan will be invaluable to the students and we are very grateful to their team for their generosity of time and commitment to developing our local learners.’
The Business and Management students from Highlands have also been invited to attend work placements in the accounts and marketing teams at Dolan’s headquarters, with two students having already taken part in the scheme. The students spent 2 weeks working in the Sales and Marketing department to develop their practical marketing skills.
Dolan and Highlands will also work together with the students to offer additional support through placements including educational events and workshops. These extra activities are currently being discussed and planned for later in the year.
Dolan Hotels, which is owned and managed locally, is Jersey’s only four-star hotel group, with all three hotel properties holding four JQA stars. Each of the Dolan hotels boasts a top quality restaurant, each of which has been awarded a Gold Highly Commended Taste Accreditation by Quality in Tourism.