Students graduating from Diageo’s Learning for Life, Scotland programme recently met Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael – who previously worked as a chef and a hotel manager himself. He returned to his hospitality roots stepping behind the bar with the students to mix a special cocktail created to celebrate The 2014 Ryder Cup coming to Gleneagles in September.
The Secretary of State said, “Scotland’s hospitality is famed across the world, and the industry will play a pivotal part in what will be one of the biggest years in Scottish tourism’s history. It is great to see initiatives like Diageo’s Learning for Life programme working to raise the bar in hospitality while also creating job and training opportunities for young people.
After joining the students for their final mixology class of their six week training programme the Secretary of State awarded them with their own cocktail shaker to mark their successful graduation from the course.
More than 150 graduates from the landmark £5million five-year training programme – launched earlier this year – have been specially selected to work at some of Scotland’s major events this year, including the Commonwealth Games, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Ryder Cup, whilst many have secured employment in pubs, bars and restaurants across Scotland.
The programme aims to help tackle youth employment by offering training and job opportunities in the hospitality sector. The programme is being led for Diageo by Peter Lederer CBE. He said, “As hosts to both the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games, 2014 is a really important year for Scotland’s hospitality industry and provides a real opportunity for us to equip young people with the skills they need to have a successful career within it. With Learning for Life, Scotland, Diageo is determined to play its part by seizing the opportunity by providing expert sector specific knowledge, but also valuable life skills, such as confidence and presentation, which are often barriers to gaining employment.”