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Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 pilots hotel work scheme

Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 is set to pilot a new scheme aimed at helping young people with learning disabilities get into work. The property will be the first hotel employer in the U.K. to trial the scheme, which will be run in partnership and funded by Ealing Council and Mencap.

The scheme is based on a successful project called SEARCH, an American employment model that enables young people to spend their last academic year in the workplace rather than the classroom. Starting in September 2014, 12 students from Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College will gain valuable experience at Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 working in food and beverage, meeting and event operations, housekeeping and reception.

Meredith Bevan, general manager, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 said: “By helping these young people into work we are raising expectations of what they can achieve. Not only is the scheme helping young people gain valuable experience, it is also opening up life choices.

“We will place the young people within our departments in roles that match their skill sets. They will be continually assessed, supported and set targets for them to achieve.”

Caroline Lowe, director of human resources, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, said: “Sadly, less than seven per cent of young people with learning disabilities make the transition from education into paid employment. We have a duty to challenge that statistic and this experience empowers those young people to seek employment. By their final year most students have completed their academic studies so the placement gives them real work experience.  

“The hotel will benefit from the participants enthusiasm and the valuable contribution they make. It will also help break down barriers and change people’s perceptions. Everyone has been positive about the scheme and we are excited to be welcoming the students in the autumn.”  

Less than 30 minutes by train from central London, Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 offers easy access to the M4 and M25 motorways.

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