Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 has announced plans to pilot a new scheme aimed at helping young people with learning disabilities get into work.
It will be the first employer in the UK to trial the scheme, which will be run in partnership with and funded by Ealing Council and UK charity Mencap.
The scheme is based on an American employment model called SEARCH which gives young people the chance to spend their last academic year in the workplace instead of the classroom.
Commencing in September, 12 students from Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College will gain work experience at the airport property within food and beverage, meeting and event operations, housekeeping and reception.
Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 general manager Meredith Bevan said: "By helping these young people into work we are raising expectations of what they can achieve. Not only is the scheme helping young people gain valuable experience, it is also opening up life choices.
"We will place the young people within our departments in roles that match their skill sets. They will be continually assessed, supported and set targets for them to achieve."
Caroline Lowe, director of human resources at the hotel, added: "Sadly, less than 7% of young people with learning disabilities make the transition from education into paid employment.
"We have a duty to challenge that statistic and this experience empowers those young people to seek employment. By their final year most students have completed their academic studies so the placement gives them real work experience.
"The hotel will benefit from the participants enthusiasm and the valuable contribution they make. It will also help break down barriers and change people's perceptions. Everyone has been positive about the scheme and we are excited to be welcoming the students in the autumn."