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Students take over at largest hotel in area; SPONSOR'S MESSAGE.

AMBITIOUS students from Tees Valley's largest college launched a takeover at the area's largest hotel.

Eighteen students from Middlesbrough College accessed all areas of Thistle Hotel Middlesbrough as part of a skills-building employer partnership project.

The students took up a variety of roles at the 132-bedroom four star hotel after completing a rigorous recruitment process.

Taking up prime position on reception was hospitality supervision student Bethany Lester, 19, while professional cookery students Ryan Hodgson, 19, and Claire Mawson, 17, worked with head chef Richard Hardy and his talented team cooking up a storm in the hotel kitchen.

Other students included BTEC hospitality students Massimo Rago, 20, and Amy Clark, 18, who waited on guests in the popular hotel restaurant.

Meanwhile India Perry, 18, got to grips with the challenging task of housekeeping at the 10-storey hotel and other students focused on preparing several of the 17 function rooms for large events, including a Rotary Club Dinner on Thursday night.

Lynne Alderson, director of programmes for service industries and retail skills, said: "Middlesbrough College is always looking at ways it can help students increase their skills, making them more attractive to employers, so we were delighted when the team at Thistle Hotel Middlesbrough agreed to take part.

"It's widely recognised that the skills and experience gained in the workplace determine how successful an individual will be in their career so this was a great opportunity for the students."

Damon Roberts, general manager, said: "As a four-star hotel we have very high standards - every member of the Thistle team is expected to be professional and courteous at all times and demonstrate a 'can do' attitude, regardless of the demands placed upon them.

"It was important for us, and for our guests, that the students demonstrated and maintained those standards.

"For some of them it was the first time they'd experienced a real working environment but they rose to the challenge and I know the hotel team enjoyed sharing their skills and knowledge."

The hotel also boasts Otium, a spa and gym facility.

Four students - Andy Lee, 18, David Dorobant, 18, Amy Simpson, 17, and Jessica Robinson, 17, took up roles within Otium to look after guests and assist in providing personal training.

Carole Bennett, director of programmes for sports, travel and public services, said: "This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to use the knowledge gained studying their course and demonstrate the skills that they have developed in the college gym.

"There is no substitute for a real environment, dealing with clients, and they have experienced working shifts, weekends, rotas and being treated like a member of staff.

"They have thoroughly enjoyed their time and it has helped prepare them for the next step."

Find out more about |studying at Middlesbrough College by visiting or call the Course Information Hotline on 01642 333700.


In the kitchen: Thistle Hotel head chef Richard Hardy with Ryan |Hodgson and Claire Mawson, two of the Middlesbrough College students who took part in the hotel takeover

SPONSOR'S MESSAGE | Thistle Hotel team mem -|bers Geoff Chapman, food and beverage supervisor; Joanne Watkinson, room operative; head chef Richard Hardy, general manager Damon Roberts and sales manager Vicki Jackson, with front row from left, students Ryan Hodgson, Bethany Lester, Massimo Rago, Stephanie Taylor, Amy Clark, and Claire Mawson
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 15, 2015
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