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Travelodge is to encourage students to apply to join the organisation by allowing flexible hours designed to fit in with their studying commitments.

With figures from the British Hospitality Association showing that more than a third of hotel workers come from the EU, many operators in the hospitality industry have likely been nervous over what Brexit could mean for their future workforce. As part of a plan to be ‘Brexit ready’, Travelodge aims to plug a potential future worker gap with students by providing a greater degree of flexibility in roles that it offers. The intention is to fill roles across the organisation’s existing 560 UK hotels, with 2,200 of the jobs being permanent and 800 additional temporary roles being offered over its busiest season in the summer months.

This development comes in response to research carried out by the organisation which highlighted that, of the 1,500 student employees asked, 62 per cent were working between eight and 24 hours a week on top of their studying commitments. Under this new programme, students will be able to work hours in the hotels that are designed to fit in with a student’s movement between university study and home. The positions will also offer support from a ‘work buddy’ and access to an in-house management development programme.

Travelodge chief executive, Peter Gowers, outlines that this new programme provides ‘potential’ for the students to build a ‘longer-term’ career after graduation, essentially offering a ‘better way to earn while you learn’. Alongside this development, Travelodge has also recently announced plans to create a further 3,000 jobs in the next five years as it opens 100 more hotels. This includes tempting unemployed parents back into the workforce by allowing for flexible working hours which fit around the school run.

It is currently unclear what effect Brexit will ultimately have on the UK workforce but organisations should bear in mind that it may result in a shortfall of EU workers going forward. It is therefore highly advisable that organisations are ready to explore additional recruitment options that might be more attractive to individuals who have not previously expressed interest in the organisation or its sector. Currently, organisations do not have to permit flexible working hours and only need to consider requests from employees who have worked for them for 26 weeks or over. That said, allowing for flexible working can be enticing for employees, such as students or young parents, who may struggle to balance work with their outside commitments.

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