On 25 February students from our Travel and Tourism and Business departments completed a rigorous preparation for employment day at the Hilton Hotel Maidstone to ensure they have the vital skills needed.

Structured to replicate the recruitment processes of major hotels and airlines,the day was designed to give students experience of preparing for and completing assessment days where they are under constant scrutiny and review.

To add even more authenticity we were delighted to welcome back 10 former Travel and Tourism students who, having completed the same exercise during their studies, went on to ace their assessment days and took time out from their high-flying careers with Hilton, easyJet, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and TUI to act as assessors. We’re so grateful that they gave up their day to help their old College, as well as their future colleagues!

Students undertook five activities, including two team challenges and an individual selling task, in an action-packed morning. The more astute also very quickly realised that even in the down-time between tasks they were still under the watchful gaze of the assessment team - again, something that will happen when they attend assessment days for real.

In true assessment centre style, at lunchtime we said goodbye to 20 students who hadn’t done enough to score points across the morning’s activities, while the rest prepared for the final task of the day – a formal interview.

Steve Hyland, Director of Communications at the College, and one of the assessors at the event said: “The College is here to prepare our students for work. The experience of our staff combined with a great relationship with some of the biggest names in industry, means that we fully understand the skills and qualities that employers want to see in new staff. We use that knowledge to ensure that our students are trained in line with those expectations, and use assessment days like this so that our students know how to present themselves in what for most is an unfamiliar setting.”

It might be tempting to think that it’s not a great experience for those who don’t make it through the whole day, but Steve explains: “Every student who attends receives detailed feedback so that they can appreciate how they impressed the assessors, and what they need to work on. Looking back over previous years, many of the students who don’t pass the assessment day go on to pass real assessment centres and secure their dream job at the first attempt because of the experience they’ve gained, and what they’ve learned about themselves”.

For more information and to apply for a Travel and Tourism programme, click here.