More than 200 new jobs are being created by Travelodge as it opens six new hotels before Christmas.

A total of 126 new positions have been created to support the new openings in Southampton, Llandudno, Raynes Park, Wembley, Greenwich and Egham. Positions include hotel manager, receptionist, team member, room cleaner and bar/café roles.

The chain, which operates 513 hotels in the UK, is also looking to recruit 40 apprentices across the country for its junior management programme (JuMP) – the first budget hotel management apprenticeship programme for school leavers.

The scheme provides a fast track route into management and gives A-level students (18+) an alternative to going to university.

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

Travelodge launched the initiative in 2011, with the first class of apprentices graduating last November. More than 30 graduates now manage their own Travelodge hotel, and another 55 apprentices are completing the course.

The remaining 40 jobs are for positions at Travelodge’s head office in Thame, Oxfordshire, in customer services, revenue management, marketing, sales, operations, IT and finance.

Chief operating officer John Pickup said: “We are looking for highly motivated people who are passionate about delivering great customer service.

“We are totally committed to developing our people, and we offer a range of further education and training opportunities to help individuals climb the career ladder.

“Our bespoke in-house management programme offers a direct route into management, and to date over 400 Travelodge employees have graduated into a management position this way.

“Our apprenticeship programme offers school leavers a direct route into management, demonstrating that you can have a successful career without going to university. With Travelodge you don’t just get a job, but a long-term career within a growing company that’s part of a dynamic industry.”

The company employs more than 9,000 staff across the UK, Ireland and Spain.