Holiday Inn Norwich Hotel Takeover
Each year, hospitality students from City College Norwich take part in a truly unique IHG Academy and ‘take over’ and run three Holiday Inn hotels in Norwich, UK. The hotels open their doors to over 150 students for one week, giving them the opportunity to gain a hands-on experience of running a hotel.
Bill Heath (now General Manager at the Holiday Inn Norwich North), originally conceptualised the Norwich Hotel Takeover, and now in its 18th year, the event has evolved to last one week and involves the three Holiday Inn Hotels in Norwich: Holiday Inn Norwich North, Holiday Inn Norwich, and Holiday Inn Norwich City. The students run all aspects of the hotel including the General Manager, Functions Manager, Front Office Manager and Head Chef roles. They are all, of course, shadowed by the teams at the hotels and are given the practical experience of running a busy, fully functioning hotel.
As the programme has been such a huge success, the hotel takeover was made a mandatory part of the college’s hospitality course – all students must take part in the takeover in their first year of studying, and they have the option to return in their second and third years, should they wish. As the programme is continually evolving, 20 students from the college began a one-year placement at the Holiday Inn Norwich – this is embedded as part of their college course to give them the real life practical experience within the industry.
Hotel colleagues are also in regular contact with the students and the college, acting as mentors to the students, offering advice, sharing suitable vacancies with the students, and creating further opportunities for them with the industry. Several students have gone to work in the hotels and in roles across the industry.
This life changing experience in Norwich is opening many doors of opportunity to young people across the local community, bringing True Hospitality for everyone.
Watch our short video to learn more about Hotel Takeover.