Hotel Apprentice Scheme Creates 3,500 Jobs

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A hotel chain has announced plans to expand its apprenticeship training scheme to help create 3,500 new jobs in the UK by 2015.

Accor (Xetra: 485822.DE - news) , which runs brands including Sofitel, Novotel and ibis, said it wanted to strengthen its commitment to supporting its future and existing employees across its network of 185 hotels in the UK.

The company plans on spending up to £5m on its training scheme.

Accor UK and Ireland (Xetra: A0Q8L3 - news) managing director Thomas Dubaere said: "Now more than ever, finding and developing talent is vital to achieving our ambitious growth strategy. This is why we are making this significant investment.

"Hospitality is a very promising career path. Indeed the vast majority of our senior managers started as trainees at one of our hotels."

Accor said it would open a professional training centre and launch a partnership with learning provider Babcock to develop the apprenticeship scheme.

Philip Addison, Accor's human resources director, said: "Our new approach aims to discover and nurture potential talent from as wide a pool as possible - from teenagers struggling to find employment to graduates from the UK's best hospitality courses.

"Our management apprenticeship programme gives young people qualification and training."

Accor controls more than a fifth of the hotel market in Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURUSD - news) and the US.

It employees more than 180,000 employees and 4,400 hotels, located in over 90 countries.