Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today hailed the creation of 3,000 new jobs in the UK by a major hotel group.
InterContinental Hotels, which includes the Holiday Inn brand, is expecting to generate the posts over the next three years.
The Liberal Democrat leader this morning attended the launch of the firm's latest hospitality training academy at the new Holiday Inn in Stratford, east London.
Mr Clegg said: "It's fantastic to see IHG growing its UK business and creating 3,000 new jobs.
"The British service sector is world-beating, and will soon welcome millions of guests to enjoy London 2012.
"But reaching this gold standard needs investment in people. IHG are leading the way in their sector through a tailored academy programme.
"It's an added investment that means young people can learn the skills for the industry in a local college, and then start their career in a local hotel.
"This shows real investment in our future workforce, is a huge boost for jobs across the country, but crucially will see local people benefit from training and work."
IHG has 275 hotels in the UK. Some 1,100 of the new posts are expected to open up this year.