Travelodge is to hire 80 new recruits as part of its apprenticeship scheme this year.

Recruitment will start this spring, with locations for apprentices including city centre locations in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Cambridge and Glasgow.

The budget chain received more than 6,000 applications from school leavers for its 51 placements last year.

The JuMP (Junior Management Programme) apprenticeship scheme was launched in 2011 as the UK’s first budget hotel management apprenticeship programme.

It offers A-level students an alternative to going to university via a fast-track route into management.

School leavers can continue their education, get work experience, receive a salary and become a manager by the age of 21.

The company’s first class of apprentices graduated last November and are managing Travelodge hotels across the UK. There are currently 55 apprentices undergoing training and the next wave of apprentices will be graduating in October.

In addition to the 80 apprentice positions, Travelodge is also looking to hire 1,000 new staff across the country this year.

Travelodge chief operating officer Jon Hendry, speaking at the start of National Apprenticeship Week, said: “National Apprenticeship Week highlights to school leavers that apprenticeship programmes can be an excellent foundation upon which to build successful, long-term careers.

“Our JuMP programme is a great example of this – it provides a bespoke, fast-track route into management and offers school leavers a viable alternative to university. Over a period of two years, a JuMP apprentice will learn all aspects of operating a Travelodge hotel, whilst furthering their education and receiving a salary.

“Building careers is part of our DNA at Travelodge and we’re delighted by the way our JuMP programme is helping us to identify and develop future leaders.”