The Fragrance Group’s £120 million investment in new hotels in Torbay will provide massive jobs and apprenticeships opportunities

The massive jobs – and apprenticeships – opportunities the Fragrance Group’s £120 million hotel investment will offer in Torbay has been outlined.

South Devon College has recently launched its new hospitality higher apprenticeship programme, in response to the Group’s huge regeneration programme which will see hotel chains Mercure, Ibis and Hilton open in the resort over the next two years.

The college recently hosted a Q&A session with representatives from Accor, Hilton and the Fragrance Group. It was led by Lynn Stephens, Head of Curriculum for Leisure and Hospitality at the college and newly appointed chairman of the English Riviera Destination Management Group.

Martin Rogers, Managing Director at GH&L Consultancy, speaking on behalf of Fragrance Group, revealed it has just under 1,000 bedrooms under construction or in the planning stage.

Over 670 of those are in Torbay. On Paignton seafront will be a Mercure with 165 bedrooms. It is due to be open in autumn 2021. Next door will be an Ibis Styles with 115 bedrooms, also due in autumn next year.

The former Corbyn Head Hotel site in Torquay will become a 150-bedroom, four-star hotel with an anticipated open date of spring in 2022. The group also has planning consent for a 240 bedroom, four or five-star hotel and resort at the old Palace Hotel site in Torquay with a scheduled completion date the late autumn of 2022 or the spring of the following year.

Kayleigh Ryan, Talent Acquisition Director for Northern Europe with Accor, said: “The opportunities for progression are extensive. Within Accor we are present in 110 countries. You may start in Torquay but you could go on to Australia, America or Canada – we also have a huge presence in Europe.”

The college’s apprenticeship standards allow students of any age to earn while they learn. There is also a clear route for school leavers or those wishing to retrain, with entry-level full-time courses over two or three years, and the opportunity to then progress onto a higher apprenticeship at University Centre South Devon. The programme was developed in partnership with the Hilton Group.