Hotel chain Premier Inn owner Whitbread launches new scheme to help armed forces veterans - and partners - find work

Steve Douglas, a former sailor with the Royal Navy and now maintenance manager at Premier Inn Portsmouth 'Picture: Adam Fradgley
Steve Douglas, a former sailor with the Royal Navy and now maintenance manager at Premier Inn Portsmouth 'Picture: Adam Fradgley
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THE owner of a hotel chain has announced that it is joining forces with the Ministry of Defence to help veterans back into work – and to make it easier for the spouses and partners of serving personnel find jobs UK-wide.    

Premier Inn owner Whitbread says it will create more than 1,000 jobs at more than 20 hotels opening across the country over the next year – and is looking for veterans and spouses of serving personnel to fill the roles. It launched the scheme at its Port Solent hotel.

Steve in his Royal Navy days in Gibraltar in 1985'Picture: Adam Fradgley

Steve in his Royal Navy days in Gibraltar in 1985'Picture: Adam Fradgley

Whitbread will be working with the Career Transition Partnership – the Ministry of Defence’s official provider of Armed Forces Resettlement – to help advertise all its roles. Opportunities to spouses and partners of serving military personnel are also to be offered through the Forces Families Jobs platform.

The scheme is part of Premier Inn’s Change Your Story recruitment strategy - part of its Force For Good corporate social responsibility programme - which actively seeks to recruit people from diverse background.

The company also proposes to work with spouses and partners who need to relocate to transfer them to the closest hotel or restaurant with a ‘buddy’ to help make the process run more smoothly.

Maintenance manager Steve Douglas and duty manager Natalie Carmon work in Port Solent. 

Steve spent 23 years in the navy as an electrical engineer. He has been with Premier Inn 12 years.

Steve, whose naval career saw him travel the world to Australia, Africa and the Middle East said: ‘The skills you learn in the navy are directly transferable to the hospitality industry. In many ways a hotel is just like a ship – it just doesn’t go to sea! I’ve been with Premier Inn for years and love my job.’

Natalie Carmon, 33, is married to naval officer Neal. Natalie has worked for the hotel for four years – and transferred from a Premier Inn in Liverpool when Neal was posted.

The mum-of-two said: ‘It’s hard having to move, you may have no friends or family in your new base and you don’t know where you’re going to live. Knowing your job can be a constant will be a massive relief for many.’