Applications for the Master Innholder Scholarships close on 30th June 2016. But what are the scholarships and why should hospitality professionals apply?

Aimed at both general managers and heads of departments working in the UK hospitality industry, the sought-after scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and enable successful applicants to learn from highly qualified leaders about market evolution, future challenges, managerial skills and global demands.

Benjamin Veale, reservations manager at The Ritz, completed a scholarship in 2015 and says: “The scheme has assisted me by reconfirming my passion for the industry and has assisted in growing my network internationally through both the scholars’ network and with the professionals I met in Switzerland.

“The course content has opened my mind to new concepts and theories and has provided me with an education that I can utilise both now and in the future.

“Whilst experience counts in hospitality I am a big believer in education and wish to continue to educate myself, this provided me with the chance to do so.

“I honestly cannot describe what an amazing experience it was in terms of the course, travel, network and experience. It’s a no-brainer, everyone should apply!”

Most applicants work within hotels but applications are also welcome from people working in other areas of the hospitality industry, such as conference centres and restaurants.

The scholarships have been designed to give management level professionals access to further training which is not always readily available in the work place. Priority is given to those who are in the greatest need of financial support, recognising that small, independent businesses can lack the resources required to offer comprehensive training opportunities.

The Master Innholders is a prestigious force within the hospitality industry, developing managers, influencing standards, and promoting study, discussion and research. Since 1997 the Worshipful Company of Innholders, in partnership with the Savoy Educational Trust and the Lord Forte Foundation, has funded the Master Innholder Scholarships.

Daniel Pedreschi, general manager of Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London completed a scholarship at Cornell University in the US. He added: “Some of my previous peers had attended the programme and I was impressed with how they had changed over such a short period of time.

“It gave me the opportunity to network, learn from and measure myself against such a broad base of individuals who manage a fantastic range of hotels from all over the world.

“It is a unique opportunity to learn at a world-class institution and to develop into the manager you want to be.”

To date, more than 240 candidates have successfully completed the programme. Scholarship graduates are invited to join the St. Julian Scholars alumni body, who take an active role in ongoing personal and professional development.

Edward White, general manager, Preston Marriott Hotel, is due to complete his scholarship this year. He says: “This is the most worthwhile process in my 16-year hospitality career.

“My time at Cranfield has shown me how to be a better leader, what value is to my customers and the importance of knowledge whilst also focusing on the strategic priorities which will help my visibility and credibility within both the industry and my company.

“I would recommend this to anyone wishing to secure an environment which encourages you and your colleagues to scrutinise your own habits, how this impacts performance of you and your colleagues and to push your thinking to the limit!”