Geoff Martyn News

In the 2015 Year of Food and Drink there can be no better apprenticeship than the one being undertaken by 9 young Scots as they hone their skills at top hotels and attractions such as Gleneagles and Buckingham Palace.

A legacy of the 2014 Ryder Cup, the Scottish Apprenticeship in Hospitality is an industry-led partnership between Diageo – the world’s leading premium drinks business – and some of Scotland’s leading hotels: The Gleneagles Hotel, Cameron House, The Blythswood, The Bonham and Apex Hotels – as well as training partners Skills Development Scotland, Training Matters, and Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland.

The participants are getting used to receiving VIP guests as part of their course and today (Wed 25th Feb) Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP met with the first cohort to hear and see at first-hand how their first 6 months of the apprenticeship is progressing as they develop their skills during Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

The event, held at Gleneagles, was attended by existing industry partners and potential new supporters of the venture and was designed and hosted by the apprentices.

Cameron Baxter, one of the 9 apprentices, said: “Today was about showcasing how far we’ve come in a short space of time as we learn our trade in Hospitality. It was exciting to put what we’ve already learned into practice and to get the chance to tell the guests about our ambitions.”

All nine participants recently received a scholarship from the Hospitality Industry Trust at a glittering event in Edinburgh to celebrate emerging talent in the industry – marking the strides that they have made in such a short period.

Willie Jones, Chairman of the Scottish Apprenticeship in Hospitality, said “The apprenticeship is unique as it’s the first time in Scotland such a prestigious list of organisations have come together to offer a 5 star experience that will contribute massively to Scotland’s hospitality offering. We are all immensely proud of the apprenticeship and look forward to selecting this year’s intake.”

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“Every year we welcome millions of tourists from around the globe to Scotland making it more important than ever that everyone is an ambassador for Scotland. Those in the hospitality sector have a key role in offering the warm welcome to our country that we are famous for and it is great to see these apprentices are already playing their part.

“I am confident that in 2015, the Year of Food and Drink, we will continue to build on the momentum created in 2014 and on the long term benefits brought to Scotland by Homecoming 2014, the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, building a strong, high quality experience that visitors will remember and keep them returning to Scotland for many years to come.”

The three-year apprenticeship is designed to raise standards across Scotland’s hospitality sector and support young unemployed people into work through specially tailored vocational training, it was launched in Sept 2014 and provides world class on-the-job training across all aspects of the modern luxury hotel industry. Diageo is supporting the apprenticeship scheme as part of its £5million Learning For Life Scotland programme, which creates training and employment opportunities for young people while also improving the quality and professionalism of hospitality service in Scotland.