Hotel GB – an experiment

Last week Channel 4 presented us with a weeklong show called Hotel GB which essentially was a hotel set up taking on 14 trainees from all different walks of life who had previously had difficulty in securing jobs, Gordon Ramsay and Mary Portas took the joint general manager roles and worked with the trainees to run the hotel. The aim of the show was to demonstrate that people often overlooked for jobs could be nurtured into successful candidates moving forward and instil some confidence back into the individuals with the hope of infusing some self worth and purpose too. To add some incentive to the show a competition was set for each team to go into contest and secure the biggest turnover and tips – customers from celebrities to service industry executives were invited to dine, engage in services, have events and stay at the hotel, they only had to pay for services if they were happy and all proceeds are being distributed to charities.

The program was not only entertaining, it also proved to be a great way of showcasing individuals who for whatever reasons had not been given opportunities to flourish in the work environment. A good number of the trainees demonstrated fantastic skills and determination to succeed and although a few struggled with the stress of being thrown in at the deep end – with the encouragement of all the team leaders they harvested success.

At the end of the show one lucky trainee from each team was offered a job with each Co General Manager Mary and Gordon. However what the trainees weren’t aware of was that hoteliers and leaders in the service industry were customers too and each trainee was offered a job at the end.

What a fantastic way to demonstrate to employers and employees alike that with a little effort, and some empowerment that even those with no work experience really can succeed.

As the media reports high volumes of unemployment for under skilled young people this program really facilitated some hope for all currently struggling to get their foot on the first rung of a career and really inspired the trainees.

It would be wonderful if other organisations embraced such opportunities to take on trainees from underprivileged backgrounds – reminding people as a whole that sometimes being given a sense of worth and encouragement that they can actually do it and turn their lives around.

The show also played a key reminder to everyone that we all had to start out working somewhere and didn’t just drop into high flying professional positions, but with hard work and determination we can achieve a whole lot more.


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