Guoman and Thistle Hotels has counteracted recent industry-trends of graduate opportunity freezes and recruitment programme cut-backs by this month launching its committed hospitality management graduate scheme.

In the group’s dedication to enhancing industry talent and guaranteeing the future of hotel leaders within its UK properties, Guoman & Thistle made the stark decision to develop an interactive, hands-on two-year knowledge and training programme that will now be open to hospitality graduates every year.

Twelve bright graduates have now joined the group having been assigned a dedicated mentor and hotel base in which to develop through the specialist curriculum.  Their appointment by the groups follows a gruelling 3-month selection process that covered various interviews, interactive workshops and role-play exercises, devised by the group’s People & Development team.

Heiko Figge, managing director, Guoman & Thistle Hotels explains why the launch of the graduate scheme is essential to the group’s ongoing people development strategy: “It made complete sense to us that we needed to play an active role in growing tomorrow’s leaders within our hotels – we are committed to attracting and developing the very best in industry talent and our graduate scheme is fundamental to maintaining this calibre of management excellence within our two hotels groups.”   

Christian Armstrong, People & Development Director, Guoman & Thistle Hotels adds: “ The high quality of graduates that were part of this recruitment process was evident of the requirement of hospitality graduate programmes to offer these bright, young managers of the future a real career opportunity.  From the interest and success around our first graduate programme this year, we have committed to opening up our programme to a number of selected graduates on an annual basis.” 

To spark their initiative, drive and direction skills throughout the programme, the twelve bright employees will each be assigned a personal mentor for constant support and guidance, taken from a panel of Guoman & Thistle directors and senior management.  Each graduate has also been located into a suitable discipline, dependent on individual interest and skill-set, at one of the group’s 38 UK properties.  

In year one of the programme, graduates will experience in detail the workings of the groups’ finance, meetings & events, housekeeping, front office, food & beverage and human resources departments.  Year two will be a specialist year where graduates choose to focus on one particular area: finance, operations, revenue or sales – before graduating from the scheme in 2012.