First students selected for Apex Hotels Apprenticeship Programme


Annie Fowden (22) and Florencia Gago Bigñe (21) are the first two students from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, to be selected for the new Apex Hotels and QMU Scholarship Programme called Shooting Stars.  The two have each received a bursary and will begin their management apprenticeship with Apex Hotels in February 2016.

The new Programme will support both BA (Hons) Events Management students during their final year of study at QMU, and will provide each with paid work experience with Apex Hotels. The students will gain hands on experience across all areas of the business, and will conduct a research project which will aim to find solutions to internal organisational problems.

An additional award in the name of the Apex Hotel’s founder, Norman Springford, will provide financial reward for one or both students to undertake postgraduate study at QMU from September 2016, and help them secure employment with the leading hotel group.

Commenting on her appointment to the Shooting Stars Apprenticeship Programme, Annie Fowden, said, “I’m really excited to have become one of the first QMU students to join the scheme.  I’m hoping to develop myself professionally and personally and learn new skills.”

Florencia Gago Bigñe, who is originally from Madrid in Spain, said, “When I heard about the opportunity to apply for this new apprenticeship scheme, I didn’t think twice.   It will be a perfect start for my career, giving me a chance to get a deeper insight into the events and meetings industry.”

Professor Joe Goldblatt, Development Executive at Queen Margaret University, commented, “We’re delighted that Annie and Florencia will be the first QMU students to benefit from this pioneering new initiative.  We’re extremely grateful to Apex Hotels for their investment in student learning and for working with QMU to develop strong managers who can contribute significantly to Scotland’s important hospitality and tourism industry. The combination of talented students who have both solid work experience with a leading hotel organisation, and excellent academic knowledge, will help to create future managers who can raise industry standards.”

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.”

Pictured  (L-R) Annie Fowden, Angela Vickers a Florencia Gago Bigñe