2011 annual ‘takeover’ of the Holiday Inn by Norwich City College

Students from Norwich have been taking care of business by spending two days running a major city hotel.

Putting their skills to the ultimate test, the hospitality and catering students from Norwich City College have taken part in the annual 'takeover' event this week at the Holiday Inn Norwich North, on Cromer Road.

Steve Thorpe, head of the Hotel, Hair and Beauty School said: 'The hotel takeover has provided a fantastic opportunity for our students to have a look at all of the areas within hospitality and to develop a greater understanding of the opportunities that are available within the industry.'

About 70 students undertook the key roles and responsibilities associated with running a major four-star hotel.

Hotel Reception Programme student Alex Roberston, 19, from Mile Cross, who has been working on reception, said: 'It was a bit nerve-wracking when I found out that I would be doing a management role for the takeover, but it has been fun.

'I think I could get used to management.'

The hotel's staff were on-hand to oversee the students and the takeover culminated in a gala dinner and charity auction last night, when students catered for up to 300 guests to help raise funds for Hospitality Action, a charity which helps hospitality people fallen on hard times.

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Devin Grosse, the general manager at Holiday Inn Norwich North said: 'Hospitality has numerous interesting jobs and career opportunities which people don't necessarily know about.

'The hotel takeover is a chance for the students to experience some of the 50 or so different roles that we have in a hotel such as this.

'The students have acquitted themselves really well in the different roles they have been undertaking.'

The picture above shows the students taking part in the event. The picture on the right shows Abigail Clipsom at work in the hotel.

Photos: Antony Kelly