Fifteen employees of AA Hotel Group of the Year, QHotels, are to
graduate with Foundation Degrees in Professional Hospitality
Operations Management, the first qualification of its type to be
provided by a UK hotel group.
Awarded by University College Birmingham, QHotels' bespoke
hospitality course has given employees a hands-on education whilst
in operational, managerial and sales roles. The degree is offered
to current employees and external applicants to learn while they
work on a full-time basis at the group's 27 four and five-star UK
As part of the course, the 15 employees undertook a number of
professional assessments, including a series of written reports,
which have been graded by QHotels' Educational Development (QED)
team and validated by University College Birmingham.
The graduates started their course in September 2013 and have
all been promoted at least once during their time working for the
company. After their graduation, each will continue full-time roles
within the group, and are well-placed to progress careers in hotel
Sarah Abercrombie, Education Development Manager at QHotels,
said: "These are our first employees to graduate from the bespoke
QHotels programme, which is a fantastic achievement. It has given
our employees the chance to earn while they learn, furthering their
skills and benefiting our business at the same time.
"Our service is inspired by our customers, so it's vital that we
employ the right people with natural intuition for great
hospitality, which we can nurture and help to give them the
requisite skills and expertise to consistently deliver to the
Rob Swinnock, Assistant Dean of Higher Education Assessment at
University College Birmingham, said: "We're delighted to be working
in partnership with QHotels on this foundation level degree, which
will deliver greater career opportunities and strengthen skills, at
a very exciting time of growth within the hospitality industry.
"These graduates are proof that employers and educational
institutions should work together to close the gap between learning
Odell Newport, a QHotels Foundation Degree student, added: "The
degree has helped to kick-start my career and given me invaluable
experience that I know will benefit me for years to come.
"I've really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the course, as it's
given me a real insight into how the company and the hospitality
industry operate. The course was a fantastic opportunity."
The Foundation Degree is part of a suite of QED Management
Development Programmes delivered by QHotels, from apprenticeships
to senior management level courses.
QHotels is one of The Caterer's 2015 Top 60 Employers in
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