Fifteen employees of AA Hotel Group of the Year, QHotels, are to graduate with foundation degrees in Professional Hospitality Operations Management, the first qualification of its type to be provided by a UK hotel group.
Awarded by University College Birmingham, QHotels’ bespoke hospitality course has given employees a hands-on education while in operational, managerial and sales roles. The degree is offered to current employees and external applicants to learn while they work on a full-time basis at the group’s 27 four and five-star UK hotels.
The employees undertook a number of professional assessments, including a series of written reports, which have been graded by QHotels’ Educational Development (QED) team and validated by University College Birmingham.
Sarah Abercrombie, education development manager at QHotels, said: “These are our first employees to graduate from the bespoke QHotels programme.
“Our service is inspired by our customers, so it’s vital that we employ the right people with natural intuition for great hospitality, which we can nurture and help to give them the requisite skills and expertise to consistently deliver to the highest standard.”
Rob Swinnock, assistant dean of higher education assessment at University College Birmingham, said:
“These graduates are proof that employers and educational institutions should work together to close the gap between learning and employment.”
Odell Newport, a QHotels foundation degree student, added: “The degree has helped to kick-start my career and given me invaluable experience that I know will benefit me for years to come.
“I’ve really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the course, as it’s given me a real insight into how the company and the hospitality industry operate. The course was a fantastic opportunity.”
QHotels is one of The Caterer’s 2015 Top 60 Employers in Hospitality.