Hilton CultureCategory|

Empowering Through Employment: How People With Learning Difficulties Enhance Hospitality

In the UK, only 6% of adults with a learning disability are in paid employment, compared with a national average of around 76%.

People with learning disabilities have unique skills and experiences, and with the right support, training and job opportunities, have the potential to become incredibly valuable employees.

Foxes Academy in Minehead in the UK aims to ensure disadvantaged young people have access to valuable experience and support – both professional and personal – to build a career in the hospitality industry. The Academy helps students work towards nationally-recognised qualifications and links up with business to provide work experience, whilst also promoting independent living.

Hilton has been working with Foxes Academy since 2015. As well as supporting with training and equipment for the students, it provides work experience and employment opportunities, benefitting from the diverse backgrounds and experiences the students bring.

Geor-Dan was a student at the Foxes Academy and now works at Hilton Birmingham Metropole three days a week. She is part of the busy Larder Kitchen Team, preparing canapés and starters for functions and guests. Skills such as teamwork, knife usage and confidence have helped her to shine in her position at the UK’s largest accommodation and conference hotel outside of London.

Despite dealing with the daily challenges of ADHD and moderate learning difficulties, Geor-Dan has excelled in her role. She is a valued member of the team and has grown in confidence throughout her time at the hotel.

“I love the buzz of working here, which has helped me to build my skills. I’ve definitely learned a huge amount, including how to work quickly under pressure, which is really important when you work in a huge hotel! I love learning how to produce new dishes using the new set of knives I bought myself recently.”