Travelodge is offering school leavers worried about university fees and debt the chance to run their own hotel by the age of 21 and earn £30k to boot.

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Published on 11/04/11 - Updated on 17/03/22

The hotel chain has just launched the UK's first budget hotel management apprenticeship programme, called JuMP, and is looking for would-be undergrads who can't face three years of racking up overdrafts and loans.

It plans to hire 500 school leavers over the next five years and place them on two year courses that will result in £30,000 jobs. The first 50 will be hired this summer. The hotel chain conducted research into teenagers' expectations of university debt and found that 71% of school leavers question the value of a degree thanks to the high cost of attending university. It also discovered that the average school leaver thinks the cost of three years of further education is just £21,884 when in fact it is more than double that. Said chief executive Guy Parsons: "Our nationwide JuMP programme offers school leavers an alternative career choice to going to university.Therefore, I am hopeful that our JuMP initiative will help dismiss these outdated, snobbish views and that today's youth will see the potential of becoming a leader; in a powerhouse industry of the future."The fast track management programme provides a real job, with the opportunity of on the job training throughout the business, combined with further education and the opportunity to earn up to £30,000. In contrast to going to university and graduating with a debt of £43,224 and facing an over crowded jobs market." He added: "We have an aggressive growth target to have 1,100 hotels by 2025. To fuel this strategy, our JuMP programme will provide a pipeline of new management talent and I am aiming that forty five per cent of our new hotels will be managed by our Travelodge apprentices by 2015. "In response to our survey findings, it's right that today's youth should be concerned about their future. In today's economic climate, going to university does not guarantee a job upon graduation. "It's also very concerning that school leavers don't really know the cost of going to university and think its £22,000 when the reality is more than double this figure as stated by the Government. "Also there is a lot of naivety around apprenticeship schemes and the UK tourism industry.

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