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HLA student appointed head of housekeeping at Bishops Gate Hotel

12 January 2023
NWRC Roberta2112227

A student on the Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) in Hospitality and Tourism Management at North West Regional College has just been appointed Head of Housekeeping at the best hotel in Northern Ireland.

Mum of 3 Roberta Deehan took up her post at the Bishops Gate Hotel in December and says she’s relishing being part of a team that put such an emphasis on high standards and customer experience. The hotel recently won ‘Hotel of the Year’ at the Giant Spirit Awards hosted by Tourism NI

For the last two years 45 year-old Roberta has been studying the Higher Level Apprenticeship one day a week at NWRC alongside her work at the City Hotel. She will now complete her HLA in tandem with her employment at Bishops Gate Hotel.

Roberta said the Higher Level Apprenticeship course at NWRC was appealing because of the benefits it offered to students.

She said: “I previously studied for the Access course at NWRC and progressed to the Level 5 Higher Level Apprenticeship in Hospitality and Tourism Management. It made sense to me to study in an area I was interested in, and one where I could work alongside my studies.

“I love this course and it can lead directly to employment or further study. There is a huge benefit to the HLA because you can study locally, there’s no course fees and you learn about the industry while you’re working so there are so many employment opportunities.

“My previous employers at the City Hotel and now the Bishop’s Gate Hotel have been really supportive of the HLA course.”

NWRC offers HLA courses in Accountancy, Business & Enterprise, Software Development, Construction and Renewables, Leadership for Children’s care, Learning and Development, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Advanced Technician in Engineering – General Engineering, Advanced Technician in Engineering and Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

HLAs are growing in popularity, allowing participants to jointly study and work in paid employment in their chosen profession.

The courses are all funded by the Department for the Economy so students never have to worry about tuition fees. In fact, the HLA is a unique work-based programme that enables participants to earn while they learn, while gaining a recognised Level 5 qualification.

For more information on HLAs, and to enrol, contact Helen McGonigal on 02871276199 or email

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