Two college students, Diana Pommills and Evie Mason, have secured full-time jobs at a five-star luxury hotel and spa in the centre of Bath.
Diana and Evie, who studied at Bath College for two years, are working as spa therapists at The Gainsborough Bath Spa, owned by YTL Hotels.
The Malaysian-based company owns and manages a prestigious collection of award-wining hotels and resorts across the world.
As new employees, Diana and Evie have a bright future ahead, with the chance to learn a range of different treatments from spa manager Kabir Aliri.
Diana with spa manager Kabir
Evie, 18, chose to study Level 2 complementary therapy at Bath College after finishing her GCSEs and continued to a Level 3 qualification.
She said: “I was looking through the college courses and I thought ‘this course looks fun’. I enjoyed it, so I worked hard because I’d found something I was passionate about.
“From June to July, you have clients coming into the college every week and I think that helped me to build my confidence. I knew I wanted to work at The Gainsborough so I arranged some work experience.
“I really like the opportunities they give us and the training, because you can always improve. I’m meeting new people and everyone is lovely.
“It’s quite amazing really because a lot of people my age don’t really know what they want to do. I’m very lucky that I know what I want to do and I’m already working in my chosen career.”
For Diana, who came to Bath College as a mature student, studying to become a spa therapist was a chance to start afresh personally and professionally.
Diana, 42, said: “I moved to a new town to make a new start in my life, and within three months of being in Bath I enrolled on a course at the college.
“It was really hard and challenging, but the college helped me in many ways. My tutor Di Rowe was amazing and made me believe I could do it.
“I benefitted from the healing process of the course. We had to practice the treatments on each other, so I gained a first-hand experience of the benefits of complementary therapy.”
The Gainsborough is part of The Bath Hotel and Restaurant School, set up by Bath College to link employers with new and emerging talent through employability talks and work experience.
Diana was keen to apply for a position at The Gainsborough after meeting Melissa Mettler, who works there as a spa consultant.
She said: “Melissa came up to the college and I was blown away. My first question was ‘how do you get to do what you do?’ I just remember thinking ‘there’s something about her and the company she works for’.
“The Gainsborough is a good place to work, they invest in your training. I would like to keep progressing and to give something back by staying in the company.”
Next year, students studying complementary therapy and spa therapy will be given a tour of The Gainsborough and the Thermae Bath Spa, followed by a buffet lunch and a talk about working for YTL.
They will take part in a new programme of mock interviews and work experience placements, with the chance to win a weekend spa break for two at The Gainsborough as part of the college’s annual competition in April.
Bath College tutor Diana Rowe said: “We’re pleased to be working with The Gainsborough to give students an insight into what it’s like to work in an award-winning five-star hotel.
“Having this relationship with The Gainsborough has successfully motivated and propelled these students into employment.
Tutor Diana Rowe with former student Oscar Marcus who started work at The Gainsborough last year
“The fact that they had the opportunity to visit The Gainsborough, hear talks and speak to staff gave them the confidence to apply for the jobs.
“Employers are looking for well-rounded therapists and that’s something we work really hard to develop. In September we will have more numbers on the spa therapy course than ever before.
“The industry is booming and Bath is known for high-end hotels. There are some amazing career opportunities and fantastic progression routes into management.”
Click here to find out about studying complementary therapy and spa therapy at Bath College.