Sponsored by alcoholic drinks company Diageo as part of its £5m Learning for Life Scotland programme, the scheme will initially create 36 apprenticeships in three years, aiming to provide on-the-job training on all aspects of the modern luxury hotel industry.
It was born of the collaboration between Skills Development Scotland and the Gleneagles hotel, Cameron House, The Blythswood, The Bonham and Apex Hotels, and could be extended across the rest of the UK if successful.
Ryder Cup legacy
The new apprenticeship programme was introduced as part of the legacy of The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, where Salmond its first two recruits, Lewis Hunter, 20, from Kirkcaldy and Cameron Baxter, 18, from Elgin. Both started the apprenticeship at Gleneagles during the famous golf tournament.
Salmond said: “We must ensure that we are able to take away a real human legacy from hosting major sporting events such as the Ryder Cup, as well as a physical legacy. I know that apprentices can bring countless benefits to organisations, and that is why I am very pleased to see large companies such as Diageo provide opportunities for young people in the hospitality industry, equipping even more with the skills that they need, for the jobs of the future.
“Every year, but this year in particular, we have welcomed millions of tourists from around the globe to Scotland. It is more important than ever that everyone is an ambassador for Scotland, and those in the hospitality sector on the front line, must be ready to offer the warm welcome to our country that is expected and deserved.”
Investment in the future
Diaego chief executive Ivan Menezes added: “This apprenticeship programme will give truly world-class training opportunities for young people, but it is also an investment in the future of Scottish hospitality.”
The apprenticeship scheme is supported by Skills Development Scotland through its Modern Apprenticeship programme and by Training Matters, MGT Training and Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland.
Scotland’s tourism sector received a boost this year as the country hosted various major sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games, and an additional 10,000 jobs are expected to be created in the food and drink sector in the next five years.