Ten students celebrated graduating from the six-week training course with their families today (Friday 1 July) at Golden Jubilee Conference Hotel in Clydebank, at a ceremony which was also attended by West Dunbartonshire MP, Martin Docherty.

The students had also undertaken two weeks of work experience with some of the area’s top restaurants, hotels and bars including the five-star Cameron House Hotel, Dumbuck Hotel and the Apex Hotel in Glasgow to gain vital on the job experience to further their knowledge of the industry.

The Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality and Bartending Course was delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner.  The programme aims to give young unemployed people the chance to learn new skills to help improve their career prospects and open up new employment opportunities.

Since its launch in 2014, 650 young people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programmes across Scotland and have successfully secured permanent roles in the hospitality and bartending sectors with some securing management roles in the country’s leading hospitality venues.

Local politicians congratulated the students on their achievements.

Martin Docherty, MP for West Dunbartonshire welcomed the success of the programme and the students involved: “I was delighted to attend the event and meet these young achievers. The hospitality sector is a major employer in Scotland and underpins the huge Scottish tourist trade. Having worked in the hospitality sector myself for over a decade, I know first-hand the challenges people on this career path face and this course will have prepared them well for what lies ahead.

“It’s a fantastic accomplishment and the students are clearly enthusiastic about the future, having grabbed this opportunity with both hands and followed it through to achieve success and excellence. I want to wish them all the very best for the future, both personally and as ambassadors on the front line providing Scotland’s world famous welcome and hospitality.”

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton added: “There is a wealth of talent among local young people and Diageo’s Learning for Life course is a unique opportunity to learn new skills with some of our leading local businesses like Cameron House. All the local graduates deserve congratulations for their hard work and I wish them well as they kick-start their new careers.

“We are lucky in West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh to have the beauty of Loch Lomond on our doorstep and the tourism and hospitality sectors are one of the biggest sources of jobs for young people in this area. I am delighted that for the second year running young people have had the opportunity to take the course in West Dunbartonshire.”

Corrina Henderson, Diageo’s Learning for Life Programme Manager, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the Dunbartonshire graduates for the hard work and dedication they have shown during their participation in the Learning for Life programme. This is the second Diageo Learning for Life programme we have delivered in Dumbarton and it’s great to see the graduates so motivated for their future careers.

“The hospitality industry offers excellent opportunities for young people with passion and drive which these graduates have in abundance and we are all looking forward to see where this next step takes them in their careers.”

Graduate, Ian Docherty (25) said: “I’ve loved every minute of the course. It’s been such a fantastic programme and the training we have been given has been amazing. The course is the stepping stone to a rewarding career and I can confidently give five-star service as I move into the hospitality sector.”

Isabel Howden, Programme Manager for Springboard in Dunbartonshire said: “The Diageo Learning for Life programme helps deliver valuable skills and confidence to young people looking to get back into the world of work. The students leave the programme with sought after qualifications and skills which help make them attractive candidates to employers in the hospitality industry.

“It is a great pleasure to work with the Dunbartonshire students and particularly rewarding to see how life changing the Learning for Life programme can be. They have shown great enthusiasm and commitment to every element of the programme.  It is amazing for everyone involved to see them move forward and secure employment.”

The Diageo Learning for Life programme in Dunbartonshire follows successful programmes throughout the UK, including most recently Paisley, Hamilton, Perth and Liverpool. 

There are plans to run a further Diageo Learning for Life course in Dunbartonshire in the future subject to demand.

Young people looking to take part or local businesses interested in getting involved can find out more by visiting http://www.diageolearningforlife.com

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