The UK’s first hotel for young people with autism and learning difficulties has given its first group of trainees a permanent job.
The Vault – the former River’s Edge Hotel in Gateshead – is an innovative £2m scheme that aims to provide respite care for young people with a range of learning difficulties as well as training them to work within the hospitality industry.
It was granted planning permission in August last year.
The current group of trainees have been learning a variety of skills, from manning the reception to preparing food and serving in the hotel’s American-style diner. Some 13 members of the group have been told they have a permanent job with The Vault owners, the St Camillus Care Group.
A statement said 10 of the trainees will be working at the hotel in jobs which include bar staff, kitchen, reception and as general assistants, while a further three have earnt posts with Key Developments, the company which is currently carrying out the refurbishment on the property.
Holly Kelleher, centre manager at The Vault, said: “This is exactly what we are here to do. The trainees are getting valuable training and experience to ensure that they are eventually able to get paid employment in the hospitality industry and to prove they are a real asset to any workforce.
“We are delighted that we have been able to offer so many of them a proper job which will give them even more experience which can only help them going forward.”
The hotel is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and is expected to open in May.
The St Camillus Care Group is also looking at a number of other sites to expand its operation which will offer a range of traineeships and internships for 18 to 24-year-olds with a range of learning difficulties.