Hastings Hotels is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Management Ambassador Programme in partnership with the Ulster University and has appointed 12 Trainee and Assistant Managers from across the group to take part in the 2024 intake.
The six-month programme is based on the vision and values of Northern Ireland’s leading collection of hotels and gives participants the opportunity to obtain a Level 4 Accredited CPD qualification.

Over the last 10 years, over 50 employees have taken part in the programmes, including three of the current Hastings Hotels’ General Managers, Andy McNeill of the Europa Hotel, Scott Weatherup of Ballygally Castle and Sam Denning of Ballygally Castle.
The Management Ambassador Programme enables future managers to engage in a university learning experience, raising their confidence and professionalism. It aims to deepen the participants’ understanding of the management of customer service and staff teams within the hospitality environment, develops understanding of the role of Key Performance Indicators across all operational areas and facilitates the continuous professional development of key management skills.

It comprises six modules that are delivered over a two-day residential in the University Campus or at a Hastings property. The six Hastings MAP modules are, Key Performance Indicators for Success; Brand and Image; Building Team for Success; Inspiring Leadership; Delivering Service Excellence; and Change Management. On successful completion of the programme, future managers deliver a finale presentation to senior management on how the programme has been impactful for Hastings Hotels and their own professional practice.
Rob Rees, Group Head of People & Culture at Hastings Hotels said: “We are delighted to be celebrating 10 years of the Management Ambassador Programme. It is an initiative that we have continued to invest heavily in and we are proud of the talent that we have supported over the years and the strong career foundations it provides. The programme has resulted in 41 per cent of participants being promoted within the group and it has also led to an improved manager retention rate of 77 per cent.”

Dr Nikki McQuillan, Programme Director for Ulster University said: “In its tenth successful year, the Management Ambassador Programme in partnership with Ulster University is testimony to the commitment of Hastings Hotels to unlock the potential talent of their people. Our lecturing team in the department of hospitality and tourism management are proud to have facilitated deep learning experiences that nurtured critical thinking and innovative behaviour which has impacted positively on Hastings operational performance.”
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