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WHC GAP students take over Hilton Watford

The 22 students who took part in the day had been busy preparing for their experience by attending at least nine hours of training across three sessions as part of the College's GAP work experience programme, ensuring that they were fully prepared to help deliver excellent customer service to Hilton Watford guests.

The students were given the opportunity to experience the world of hospitality across a range of Hilton Watford’s departments including reception and health and fitness. Some students also worked as food and beverage assistants and commis chefs for the day, cooking up and serving a delicious lunch for a number of VIPs, including Richard Harrington MP, and Hilton Worldwide’s Vice President of Human Resources for EMEA, Ben Bengougam, Anita Graer, HR Cluster Director and Robert Dodwell, Area General Manager.

The students conducted their work experience under the watchful eye of Hilton Watford general manager, Neil Shears. Neil said: “We’re delighted to have students from West Herts College taking part in this event for the second year running, as they get to experience the range of career opportunities available at Hilton Watford and the hospitality industry as a whole. It’s been great to see them put the skills they’ve learnt during their training into practice and it’s a pleasure to have them on our team for the day.”

Ben Bengougam, VP of Human Resources for EMEA, Hilton Worldwide added: “I’ve very much enjoyed meeting the young people from West Herts College today, not to mention the delicious lunch they’ve cooked up! As a company, Hilton Worldwide know how important it is to create opportunities for young people and this event is a fantastic example of the many ways we are achieving that aim in our properties across the world.”

Principal Gill Worgan said: “GAP work experiences are invaluable for our students. The Hilton Watford piloted our first project last year and it’s great to be back here again with another team of students. Working for an international brand like Hilton Worldwide really gives West Herts College students an edge at job interviews. There’s so much for them to talk about and their enthusiasm comes across so strongly. It wouldn’t be possible without the support of everyone at Hilton Watford. It’s their commitment to our students that makes this such a special GAP experience. Where else would young people have the opportunity to run a hotel for the day?”

Richard Harrington MP added: “This is one of the reasons why Hilton are such a valued local employer, they really do go the extra mile to support the local community and help where they can – and it is evident how much this means to West Herts College students. You cannot beat real hands-on experience to prepare properly for the world of work, and I hope that this scheme will continue; given how much West Herts students seem to shine when they do the GAP Programme – I am sure it will!”

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