In a UK first for the hospitality sector, we are the first company to launch a Levelling Up Report in partnership with This is Purpose. The report was officially launched by the Minister for Employment, Guy Opperman MP, at Hexham Travelodge. You can view the full by clicking here. 

The report highlights a number of key strengths which see Travelodge leading the way on the levelling up agenda nationally and regionally and it also outlines the group’s social mobility approach for the future.   

To support the launch of its Levelling Up Impact report, Travelodge also announced its ongoing pledge to support its colleagues to ‘Learn More, Earn More & Belong with the following programmes which include the new initiatives:

An expanded development programme called Aspire. This four level comprehensive programme provides a clear pathway of development and career mapping for hotel and maintenance colleagues to progress from entry level roles through to a District Manager level.   Two of the levels allow colleagues to gain a formal qualification by way of an apprenticeship.

For head office colleagues, Travelodge has introduced a new development programme called Limitless aimed at middle managers with a strong focus on good health and wellbeing being fundamental to drive team performance.   

A multi-million commitment to place thousands of colleagues on the Travelodge Aspire programme over the coming years.

The UK has one of the most dynamic and diverse hospitality sectors in the world, it comprises over 143,000 businesses and employs around 1.8 million people – giving many young people their first experience of work. It is also one of the biggest revenue generators for the UK economy and plays a vital role at the heart of communities and local economies across the UK. 

Travelodge is a leading player within the UK hospitality sector and has a mission to make travel affordable for everyone. Travelodge opened the country’s first branded budget hotel in 1985 and today the group operates nearly 600 hotels across the UK, Ireland and Spain. It employs over 12,000 colleagues (73% are female) in full and part time roles. Travelodge is also a gateway employer helping people from all walks of life to start or restart their career. It is dedicated to supporting parents to return to work by offering flexible working hours around the school run – so that Britain’s mums and dads can progress their career whilst raising their family.          

The Travelodge Levelling Up Impact report identifies the Group’s social impact against an innovative framework of 14 Purpose Goals created by The Purpose Coalition and supports the group’s sustainability plan called ‘Better Future’ which focuses on three key pillars: Inclusive, Caring & Conscious.

The Purpose Coalition framework helps organisations identify gaps in access to opportunity, address common socio-economic barriers that prevent people from achieving their potential, and in turn helps narrow regional inequality and improve overall living standards of the communities in which they operate. 

The Travelodge Levelling Up Impact report also highlights Travelodge’s work in three important areas where the company is having a particular impact. This includes:    

Goal 5: Open recruitment – Travelodge ensures that employment opportunities are open to the widest range of people, working with partners in areas of high unemployment. It has an ambition to achieve a 50/50 gender split at a senior level and 10 per cent minority ethnic representation by the end of 2025 and offers flexible working hours around colleagues’ lives.

Goal 6: Fair career progression – Travelodge ensures that colleagues have the opportunity to grow their careers in a supported environment with continuous training and is able to fill around between 70% and 80% of its management roles internally. It has improved and expanded its development programme called Aspire which has already helped nearly 1,500 colleagues progress their careers at Travelodge and aims to help a further 6,000 colleagues over the coming years. 

Goal 8: Good health and wellbeing – Travelodge’s successful internal wellbeing programme recognises that true wellbeing is dependent on a number of elements and, through listening to its colleagues’ concerns, has responded with a wide range of successful initiatives to support financial, emotional, physical and work health.  

The report also makes a series of recommendations about potential future action that will ensure Travelodge continues to have a significant social impact, including a focus on social mobility cold spots to maximise that impact, measuring and tracking the socio-economic make-up of its workforce

Guy Opperman, Minister for Employment and MP said: “I am delighted that Travelodge has launched their Levelling Up Impact Report here in Hexham – with key announcements to boost levelling up both in Hexham and across the country. Travelodge’s new and improved employee development programme – Aspire – is a real success story and I look forward to seeing it in action.”

Hannah Thomson, Travelodge, Chief People Officer said: “We are very excited to be the first company within the UK hospitality sector to be leading the way on the levelling up agenda. With nearly 600 hotels across the UK, Spain and Ireland, Travelodge is well placed to support the levelling up agenda across all regions of the UK. Our colleagues are at the heart of our business and we are committed to providing an inclusive workplace where everyone can Learn More, Earn More & Belong. Working with The Purpose Coalition has helped us to understand and celebrate all the great things we are currently doing, but more importantly, to start understanding where we can do more to support the country’s levelling up agenda and improve our social impact across all the communities that we operate within.” 

“We hope our Levelling Up Impact report will inspire other hospitality companies to support the UK Levelling Up agenda, so together we can make a real difference to the people that make UK Hospitality a world class industry.”     

Rt Hon Justine Greening, Chair of the Purpose Coalition, said: “This report contains some great examples of how a company can tailor opportunities so that people from all walks of life, and with different backgrounds, can have access to rewarding careers. Travelodge understands that there is a particular need for the hospitality sector to attract and retain talent and it has been very successful in doing that, alongside successfully growing its core business. 

Its Aspire programme is a particularly effective initiative which develops the skills of its employees to give them the tools to progress within the company. That doesn’t just mean promotion. It also means learning new skills or reskilling, both critical factors in being able to get on. It also recognises that measurement is key and the introduction of socio-economic questions into applications for the scheme will help to assess how well it is doing and to ensure that it can remove any barriers to progress. It’s a crucial way of supporting the levelling up agenda.”