Premier Inn provides employment training scheme for people with learning disabilities

A joint project between Derwen College in Shropshire and Premier Inn has seen students with learning disabilities gaining valuable experience in the hotel industry.

The college has even taken steps to ensure that its students meet the standards required by the hotel chain after installing an onsite replica bedroom suite, which students are then taught how to clean and prepare.

Along with their training, students undertake work placements at one of six hotels in the local area, preparing and cleaning rooms used by guests as well as completing other duties associated with working in the industry.

Derwen is a specialist residential college in Oswestry and has approximately 273 students each year, all of whom have different learning disabilities and requirements.

They can study a range of courses, all of which are geared up to help them find paid employment once they return home or choose to go into assisted living quarters.

Claire Brunt, 24, from Worcester, has Down’s syndrome and has been training for one day every week at a Premier Inn for the last two years, and she has already impressed her course leaders and staff at the hotel with her standards.

The college is already set to train another 14 students to Premier Inn’s standards as part of its latest intake.

Peter Beresford, professor of social policy at Brunel University, and co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said: “If we were living in an ideal world, it would be great if companies like John Lewis and Waitrose had careers for everybody but the real world has a very discriminatory job market.

“What Derwen is doing is a really positive building block for people with learning disabilities.”

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