25 students from across the city and surrounding areas completed the training programme throughout November, and will now embark on new careers in the hospitality industry ahead of the busy festive season.
Half of the group undertook a unique fast-track course which put a greater emphasis on practical skills, aiming to reduce the need for on the job training at such a critical time for the hospitality industry. Graduates also received specialist training in festive mixology to prepare for the increasing demand for cocktails throughout December.
Both courses provided essential industry qualifications, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, which has opened the door to a wide range of exciting career opportunities. 14 of the 25 graduates have already secured employment with some of Glasgow’s best hotels and restaurants including Blythswood Square Hotel, Grand Central Hotel, Trattoria Guidi and Prezzo, after completing valuable work placements with local hospitality businesses.
The group celebrated completing the Diageo Learning for Life programme during a special ceremony at The Savings Bank in Glasgow on Friday (24 November).
Nicola Reid, Programme Manager, Diageo Learning for Life, Great Britain and Europe, congratulated the graduates, saying: “Young people in Glasgow are full of passion and drive, and when combined with their new qualifications and experience, our students have the best possible opportunity to secure long-term employment in the hospitality industry.
“The sector is thriving and there are excellent opportunities for young people, especially at this time of year. Offering a solid platform for training and development, the Diageo Learning for Life course provides students with the opportunity to learn new skills, gain recognised qualifications and build confidence – attributes which are valued greatly by hospitality employers, especially at this busy time of year.”
Since its launch in 2014, more than 1,000 unemployed people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programme, with 81% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 78% securing long-term employment – a success rate which makes it one of the Scotland’s leading employability schemes.
The course is delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner. Commenting on the recent tranche of Glasgow graduates, Isabel Howden, Programme Manager for Springboard in Glasgow, said: “This is the first time we have run the Diageo Learning for Life programme as a fast-track course in time for Christmas which has been great in helping the students get into work at one of the busiest times.
“The support we have received from local businesses has been fantastic and we really appreciate the time that they have given up to encourage these young people to consider a career in hospitality.”
As part of the training programme, students were also treated to an exclusive visit to Blythswood Square Hotel to get top tips from the experienced hoteliers as well as learning from the professional mixologists in a festive themed cocktail making session.
Laura Dunphy, People Development Officer at Blythswood Square said: “As a hotel team, we were very impressed with the way each graduate presented themselves; they really demonstrated the passion they had to enter into the world of hospitality.
“The interest and enthusiasm from the entire group of Learning for Life students was fantastic and the course certainly sets them up well to enter into our thriving industry. We were thrilled to offer food and beverage positions to three outstanding Diageo Learning for Life graduates.”
Diageo Learning for Life Graduate, Kris Shanks (21) from Airdrie, added: "This course has opened my eyes to the opportunities available in the hospitality industry and has given me the skills, confidence and qualifications to progress with my career. My work placement at Trattoria Guidi was a fantastic opportunity which I’m pleased to say has now become a permanent position.”
Recruitment is already underway for the next Glasgow course which starts on 29 January 2018. Businesses in Glasgow looking to staff their establishments or to get involved can contact: Stewart Fotheringham, Business Engagement Manager at The Springboard Charity on firstname.lastname@example.org / 07464 546 686.