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Students matched up with mentors as pioneering hotel mentoring scheme kicks off in Manchester

Manchester Hoteliers’ Association

Twelve hospitality students have begun working with twelve high-profile general managers of Manchester hotels, as part of a pioneering pilot scheme.

Manchester Hoteliers’ Association (MHA) and Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met) are behind the mentorship programme which launched at the Business School in the city this week.

Bosses of hotels including The Principal, INNSIDE Manchester and The Lowry are taking part in the scheme which runs until April 2018.

Talented final year BA (Hons) Hospitality Business Management students have met their mentors and will press on with the programme.

MHA Chair Adrian Ellis and Amanda White, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Hospitality Business Management at Manchester Met, are behind the initiative which they say has been designed to attract students to careers in the hotel industry – but more importantly retain talent.

The programme will include four face-to face meetings over the course of the year in addition to regular online communication, job shadowing and opportunities to attend training events, management meetings and other networking opportunities.

Adrian, who is also the General Manager of The Lowry Hotel, said it won’t just be students that benefit from the scheme.

Talking in front of the mentors and mentees at Manchester Met Business School he said: “I remember being a student and later meeting some of my old classmates at a reunion – only to find out that 65 per cent of them had gone into other industries.

“After talking with Amanda extensively over recent months we believe this problem still exists.

“Students like yourselves are the future of our industry and we think this is a spectacular opportunity to finish your course, gain experience and create a pathway into a fantastic career.”

He added: “I’m sure each of your experiences with General Managers will be different to the next person, but that’s great, as you’ll get out of it what you put into it.

“There will be plenty of support on offer to the students and opportunities to experience life in some of the best hotels in our great region.

“As General Managers we are always faced with recruitment challenges so this is an exciting opportunity for us too.”

Manchester Met’s Amanda White also addressed the room, describing the pilot scheme as a ‘chance to build lifelong networks’.

“Our overriding aim is to encourage mentees through their final year of studies and into employment,” she said.

“We have been very keen to get this off the ground and are delighted that our wonderful final year students have met and also stared to work with great mentors.”

Amanda added: “I’ve no doubt how committed the students are to this. They will drive this forward and learn invaluable skills that they will carry forward throughout their careers in what is a wonderful sector.”

Mentors and mentees

Samanta Dubois and Mathieu Batut (Novotel Manchester Centre)

Vivien Dagnall and Tina Namee (INNSIDE Manchester by Melia)

Emily Morrison and Jane O’Mahony (Arora Hotel Manchester)

Serena Hayes and Matt Townley (The Principal Manchester)

Sophie Dixon and Gary Johnson (The Mere Resort Knutsford)

Cristina Vaduva and Michael Sheldon (Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport)

Tiffany Marshall and Huseyin Bozkurt (The Stock Exchange Manchester)

Sara Mahjoubnia and Barbara Womack-Simms (Pendulum Hotel)

Catarina de Pina Joana and Bob Fairweather (Crowne Plaza Manchester Shudehill)

Rosemary Troop and Stephen Miles (Radisson Edwardian)

Kenny Smith and Adrian Ellis (The Lowry Hotel)

Ellen Rylance and Mario Ovsenjak (Hotel Gotham)