A slice of the hotel scene for these Sunderland students

Pupils from Thornhill School tuck into their pizzas at the Roker Hotel's Italian Farmhouse.
Pupils from Thornhill School tuck into their pizzas at the Roker Hotel's Italian Farmhouse.

Fascinated students got a behind-the-scenes look at life in Sunderland’s hotels.

And the Work Discovery Sunderland-led event was so popular, a second one is planned.

Barbara Priestman School pupils are helped by Roker Hotel Italian Farmhouse chef John Ward.

Barbara Priestman School pupils are helped by Roker Hotel Italian Farmhouse chef John Ward.

The Hilton Garden Inn, Roker Hotel and Sunderland Marriott jointly hosted the hospitality sector day and 90 keen students took part.

They made beds, set tables, created pizzas, and learned more about management and service roles.

Hilton Garden Inn sales director, Catherine Graham, said: “There are so many opportunities in the industry and it’s great for us to help the next generation of employees to see these for themselves.

“It’s also a great chance for the city’s three leading hotels to work together in this way.”

We aim to educate young people about Marriott and to give them an insight into what career paths are available in the hospitality sector, in the hope that we can encourage and inspire them to gain skills for the future

Amy Parkin

Amy Parkin, Director of Human Resources at the Sunderland Marriott, said the hotel was “always very excited to be part of events in the local area, in particularly Work Discovery Sunderland.

“We aim to educate young people about Marriott and to give them an insight into what career paths are available in the hospitality sector, in the hope that we can encourage and inspire them to gain skills for the future.”

Jonathan Graham, Operations Director of Tavistock Hospitality which owns the Roker Hotel, said: “To bring the next generation of local talent into the industry is an exciting project and very rewarding for a local company such as ourselves.”

He said the company was “delighted to be partnering with Sunderland Marriott and the Hilton Garden Inn on this project.”

Pupils from Thornhill School tuck into their pizzas at the Roker Hotel's Italian Farmhouse.

Pupils from Thornhill School tuck into their pizzas at the Roker Hotel's Italian Farmhouse.

The event is part of the Work Discovery Sunderland programme which covers everything from sector days to the annual Work Discovery Week. The hospitality day was the first of the 2017/2018 programme.

Paul McEldon, co-chair of Work Discovery Sunderland, said young people got a real understanding of what working in the hospitality industry would involve.

He added: “We have been overwhelmed with the response to this event and we are delighted so many Sunderland students are making the most of the chance to learn more about the sector.”“

Next year’s Work Discovery Week will run from Monday, June 25 to Friday, June 29.

Barbara Priestman School pupils are helped by Roker Hotel Italian Farmhouse chef John Ward.

Barbara Priestman School pupils are helped by Roker Hotel Italian Farmhouse chef John Ward.