The Copthorne Hotel Newcastle welcomed students and businesses on Wednesday 22 March as it was ‘taken over’ by Newcastle College. 

The annual takeover sees learners from hospitality, travel and tourism, and hair and beauty given exclusive access to assist in the running of the hotel.

This year, for the first time, colleagues from childcare and business were also there to host advisory boards, inviting regional employers to discuss collaboration between industry and education. The main topic of discussion was how Newcastle College can work with them to attract more skilled young people into careers in these sectors, as well as how more opportunities can be created.

Guests included Kennedy and Rhind, 21 Group, Maldron Hotels, Jesmond Dene House Hotel, Hays Travel, Northumberland Tourism, Fred Olsen, British Airways, Blackfriars and Newcastle International Airport, many of whom already work in close partnership with the College.

The employers were treated to an afternoon tea created and served by hospitality students, as well as nail treatments, massages and goody bags, which included samples of products from employer partner Eve Taylor.

Director of Eve Taylor, Chris Taylor, also gave a presentation to Level 2 beauty students about how important it is to continue their college education and what opportunities will open up to them once they have achieved their Level 3 qualifications.

Victoria Solomon, Area Manager of Little Angels Nurseries, who attended the event said she found the sessions really valuable. She said: “We were especially keen to come today to find out how we can work with the college on the new T-Levels. It will be great for us to have students coming to our settings for two days a week for two years, but we felt like we needed to learn more about how it will run, and how we can support the students to really succeed. AND, as a bonus that I wasn’t expecting at all, I got to get my nails done, which was a real treat! I very rarely get chance to pamper myself, so it was really lovely.”

Craig Cowan, Head of Hospitality and Tourism at Newcastle College commented: “The purpose of this collaboration with Copthorne Hotel Newcastle is to give students unique inside knowledge of working within a busy city centre hotel, and help them to gain essential skills that will prepare them for the world of work. We enjoy a brilliant relationship with The Copthorne and this support is invaluable for our learners, so a big thank you to them, and also to all of the employers who attended the event.”

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