Apex hotels has partnered with Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (QMU) to offer bursaries to students who complete work experience in the hospitality sector.
The programme will support two students from hospitality and tourism or event management courses during their final year at university and offer paid work experience at Apex Hotels.
A postgraduate award – named after Apex Hotel’s founder Norman Springford – will provide financial support to a top student and help them secure employment within the hotel group.
The move aims to create a ‘new generation’ of hospitality leaders ready to develop the Scottish hospitality industry in to a key international player.
Norman Springford said: “The Hospitality industry is a key growth area within Scotland and critical to the Scottish economy. We therefore need to equip a young workforce with the right skills and attitude to continue improving and transforming Scotland’s hospitality and tourism industry.
“By joining forces to support and reward talented young students, who are passionate about the industry, we can ensure that Scotland is viewed as a leading hospitality destination both by a home audience and internationally.”
According to data from VisitBritain released this week, international visits to Scotland soared from 2.4m to 2.7m in the past year.
Edinburgh alone is predicted to welcome an additional 15m foreign visitors before 2019 following the launch of Easy Jet's new European flight routes and Air Canada's Rouge route from Toronto last year.
Apex Hotels operates a total of nine UK hotels, four in Edinburgh, two in Dundee and three in London. Its tenth site - a 177-room site in central Bath - is set to open in autumn 2016.