Katie Kyrousis News

Auchterarder native Shannon-Leah McNamara is one of the first students to benefit from a new five-star modern apprenticeship in Scotland. The industry-led Scottish Apprenticeship in Hospitality, launched this week at Gleneagles Hotel, will provide world class on-the-job training across all aspects of the modern luxury hotel industry.

A legacy of the 2014 Ryder Cup, the initiative 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, MGT Training and Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland.

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. 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.

Shannon-Leah began her apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel during The 2014 Ryder Cup.

She said: “I was studying hairdressing at college but I realised it wasn’t for me, so I started working at the Gleneagles Hotel as a waitress. I really enjoyed the busy environment, and applied for the Scottish Apprenticeship in Hospitality. I’m excited to now be an apprentice here at the Gleneagles Hotel, which is so important to my local area, and I’m looking forward to the three years ahead.”

Diageo Learning for Life Scotland is being led by Director of Diageo in Scotland and Chairman of Gleneagles Hotel, Peter Lederer CBE. Peter has contributed 30 years’ service to the industry in Scotland since taking over running Gleneagles Hotel in January 1984.

He said: “As hosts to both the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, 2014 has been an important year for Scotland. We want to ensure that we continue to build on the opportunities that have been created for young people as a result of these major world events by investing in our hospitality industry and the potential of its future ambassadors, such as these young apprentices.

As a company with a key presence in the hospitality and tourism sector in Scotland, Diageo has a commitment to ensuring we are providing young people with the skills they need for jobs that will have a positive economic impact on the sector in the future. With the help of our partners, the Scottish Apprenticeship in Hospitality will play a key role in this legacy.”

Skills Development Scotland’s Chief Executive Damien Yeates said “In today’s competitive tourism market, having people with the high level hospitality skills to complement Scotland’s attractions is vital.

“SDS has worked with the industry to support this collaborative approach and welcomes the fantastic commitment to deliver this enhanced learning experience.

“SDS will continue to work with industry to ensure we have the right skills in place for businesses to succeed.”