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19/06/2018 | Celebrating one year since the opening of our training facility at Derwen College

In 2017, we opened the full Premier Inn training facility at Derwen College, a specialist college working with young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. A year later, we’re celebrating our first year since the opening of the facility and looking forward to what’s to come!

At Premier Inn, we are committed to championing the employment of under-represented groups. This means making sure that everyone has an opportunity to work with us, no matter who they are or where they’re from.

Derwen College works with young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. It provides inspirational learning, development and care to enable the achievement of aspirations which transform lives. Focusing on employability through the teaching of vocational skills, it helps with the development of independent living and social competences.

In 2013, Premier Inn’s Area Manager, Tracey Bishop was approached by Derwen College to support a student with a work experience placement in a Premier Inn hotel site. Proving a success, we realised the incredible potential of these students and saw an opportunity to facilitate more work experience placements. Working alongside Novus Property Solutions, we built a Premier Inn training centre complete with a reception, four bedrooms and laundry room on site, all while providing our industry standard training for the students.

One year on from the opening, the training facility has positively impacted over 100 Derwen students and seen over 36 students through the training programme with six now employed in our hotels. And, this summer, more students are preparing to make the transfer from education to employment.

To celebrate this milestone and ensure we continue to grow our partnership, we hosted a ‘Derwen College Awareness Day’ on 18th June for hotel managers from across our business to learn about, discuss and find out how to get involved in the partnership.

Championing the employment of under-represented groups doesn’t end there - we will ensure this partnership continues to grow with a predicted ten more students due to be employed in our hotels by the end of the year. What’s more, we are continuing to build on the success of this current format by looking at opportunities to partner with similar colleges and to strategically develop the programme further.

It’s been a very special year for our partnership with Derwen but the first year of many for Derwen students to learn at our facility and work with us at Premier Inn.

Tracey is joined by Kevin at Novus and John English, Head of Charity Partnerships

Tracey and Derwen’s Principal Meryl Green alongside students from Derwen

The 2018 team at Derwen College celebrate the one year anniversary