Students take over Burnley hotel

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It is hoped hands-on work in the hospitality industry will help to improve students' employment chances

Students from Sir John Thursby Community College in Burnley got the chance to take over a local hotel on 14 March.

Sixteen students from year 9 and 10 took on jobs at the town's Holiday Inn Express such as working on reception, being a chef and running the hotel as the general manager. We reported on the day for BBC News School Report and interviewed teachers, hotel staff and students.

Each pupil had to apply for the role they wanted and had an interview to see what the experience is like. We got the chance to see our schoolmates in action and it looked like they were working really hard.

Jack and Elliott were general managers for the day and they even got to meet the mayor at lunch in the hotel while some of the team worked in the kitchen, laid the tables and served the 50 guests!

Jack said the day was brilliant and added that he found it easier working in a hotel than doing school work. He also told us that he had always been set on a certain future but now he has done this he has got more ideas and another work plan. But he was so busy he did not have time to have a break all day.

Image copyright School Report
Image caption School Reporters interview hotel general manager Kerian Barnes

Conor, from Year 9, worked on reception for the day. He said the best part about working at the hotel was communicating with people and being able to work as a team.

Sudhas, from Year 10, worked as a chef in the kitchen, making desserts and chocolate brownies! She told us she really enjoyed being a chef and she liked walking around actually doing things instead of sitting down.

Mr Burton, the head teacher at Sir John Thursby, said he thought the day was very important and added: "It gives the students a lot of confidence and gives them the skills they need to know."

We also spoke to the hotel general manager, Kerian Barnes, who had come up with the idea.

"It takes a lot of effort and work as the project actually started in July last year," she said. "Our staff don't normally work with young people and what they think matters."

The day gave our students experience of what it is like to work, and Kerian said they are considering running the project again next year.