Accor shifts grad scheme focus onto sandwich students
Mon, 25 Jun 2012
Hotel group Accor has “re-assessed” the way it works its graduate scheme, making the recruitment of students who spend a sandwich year working with them “the preferred route” into the company.
This is according to the company’s UK and Ireland HR director Philip Addison, speaking to Recruiter
at an event in London last week (21 June), where it launched its new training academy in the UK and announced it was to create 3,500 new jobs
in the UK by 2015.
Addison says that for years the company has taken in students to work with them for a year during a university course, but it now wants to “be a little bit more targeted… we’re going to shift our emphasis to attracting more people in the placement process”.
This is in line with the strategy behind the company’s training academy, as Addison explains, saying “we have a preference for internal promotion”.
He nonetheless stresses that graduate entry through previously being with the company as a sandwich year student is not the only graduate access route, but is the “preferred” option.
The company is working in partnership with four universities – Oxford Brookes, Sheffield Hallam, University College Birmingham and the University of West London – to offer these sandwich year placements.
Anne Maher, undergraduate programme lead for hospitality at Oxford Brookes University’s School of Hospitality Management, told Recruiter that this approach is also new for the university, saying: “What we’ve tended to do in the past is work at unit level rather than with the [whole] brand.”
She adds that the company is ahead of the game in creating a link between sandwich year placements and graduate entry, saying: “I find it astonishing the number of hospitality employers than don’t make that connection.”
She says that in some places sandwich placements in fact have the exact opposite affect, and end up “putting them off” ever coming back to work for the company.