Ayrshire Graduates toast success

The 13 graduating students celebrated the completion of the six-week training course with their families at a ceremony at the Taste training restaurant on Ayrshire College campus.

The graduation marks the eleventh Diageo Learning for Life programme to have taken place in association with Ayrshire College since November 2015. As part of their training, the students undertook two weeks of work experience with some of Ayrshire’s well known restaurants, hotels and bars including The Red Lion in Prestwick, Cecchini’s in Ardrossan, Franklin & Sloane in Kilmarnock, Troon Golf Club in Troon, The Tartan Sheep in Kilmarnock and McChristies in Crosshouse, to gain vital on-the-job experience to further their knowledge of the industry.

The students also undertook industry visits to the Whisky Experience in Kirkoswald, a wine tasting at Corney & Barrow in Ayr and participated in a cocktail masterclass at Si! Café bar.

The Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality and Bartending Course is delivered by Ayrshire College, as part of Ayrshire College and Diageo’s partnership agreement. The programme aims to give young unemployed people the chance to learn new skills to help improve their career prospects and open up new opportunities.

Pauline Scott, Ayrshire College Learner Engagement Officer for Diageo Learning for Life said: “It’s an exciting day for our Ayrshire College students who have been working incredibly hard on the The Diageo Learning for Life Programme for the last six weeks. The course has provided them with industry recognised qualifications, strong practical skills and an increased confidence in their abilities and ambitions.

“The students have all passed their Scottish certificates for Personal Licence Holder enabling them to sell alcohol to the public and are fully trained in wine, beer, spirits, floor service and customer service ahead of a key period in the hospitality calendar.”

Diageo Learning for Life graduate Daniel Jones (20) from Ardrossan added: “The Learning for Life course is a great opportunity to open new doors into the hospitality industry. The course isn't just about pulling pints, there is so much more to it. Within 6 weeks we received barista training, learned the history behind beer, wine and gin as well as practical skills such as pouring pints and learning about different spirits. It is by far one of the best courses I've done and the rest of the team would agree.”

The Diageo Learning for Life programme in Ayrshire follows other successful programmes throughout the UK since the wider Programme launch in 2014. These span almost 20 different locations across Britain, including Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Perth, Forth Valley, Liverpool and London, and have celebrated over 850 young graduates in total with many securing management roles in some of the country’s leading hospitality venues.

Nicola Reid, Diageo Learning for Life Programme Manager for Great Britain, congratulated all the Ayrshire graduates for their hard work and participation: “The hospitality industry offers excellent opportunities for young people with passion and drive which these graduates have in abundance. We are all looking forward to seeing where this next step takes them in their careers.

“The Diageo Learning for Life programme offers students real work experience in some of the area’s top establishments and produces a calibre of dedicated, confident and dependable employee that will be a benefit to any business in the hospitality industry.”

The twelfth Ayrshire programme will begin on 24 April 2017, which will offer participating students the opportunity of real work experience from May 2017.

Businesses in the Ayrshire area looking to support the development of future young participants, as well as staff their establishments should contact Pauline Scott, Ayrshire College Learner Engagement Officer for Diageo Learning for Life on pauline.scott@aryshire.ac.uk or 01292 293512.

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