Diageo’s Learning for Life celebrates 1,000 Job Opportunities for young Scots in hospitality

September 6th, 2017 | Posted in: News

Members of the Scottish Parliament raised a toast to the award-winning Diageo Learning for Life programme today (5th September) which has not only reached 1,000 apprentices since its launch in 2014, but has also seen 81% of its graduates go on to further training or employment, with 78% securing long-term employment – a success rate which makes it one of Scotland and the UK’s leading employability schemes.

The success of Diageo Learning for Life was celebrated by MSPs, graduates of the programme and hospitality industry leaders at a special event in the Scottish Parliament.

Diageo has invested £5million in the Learning for Life programme and since it launched in January 2014, the programme has delivered 80 bartending courses in 19 different locations around Scotland, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, Paisley, Oban, Inverness, Perth, Dumfries and Stirling.

The bartender programme takes young unemployed people and puts them through a four week course of coaching, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, followed by a two week work placement in the hospitality sector.

Stuart McMillan, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, hosted the celebration and paid tribute to the success of the Learning for Life programme and its graduates. He said, “The hospitality sector in Scotland is thriving and there are excellent career opportunities available to young people who have the required skills and experience, something which can be gained in abundance during the Diageo Learning for Life courses.

“The programme enables young people to develop their future prospects and embark on a new career in hospitality and it’s great to celebrate the success and achievements to date.”

David Cutter, Diageo’s President of Global Supply and Procurement, said: “The Diageo Learning for Life programme is one of our proudest achievements in Scotland because of the transformational impact it has on the lives of young people.

“We have reached 1,000 people, equipping them with the confidence and skills to build careers and lives in the hospitality industry, and making a real different to communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

David Craig, a graduate or the Diageo Learning for Life programme in Glasgow who has gone on to become Bar Manager at Gin71 in Glasgow and to compete in global bartending competitions, reflected on his experience: “It felt fantastic to come straight out of the course, into a full time job and then go on to compete in International competitions like World Gin Day. I would encourage anyone interested in hospitality to find out more about the Diageo Learning for Life courses on offer in their area. After just three days on the programme, I knew that I wanted to build a career in the industry.”

The Diageo Learning for Life programme is delivered by specialist training partners The Springboard Charity and Ayrshire College.

As well as the bartender programme, Diageo Learning for Life provides funding support for Career Ready, giving work placements and career mentorship to S5 and S6 school pupils throughout Scotland.

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Susan Young
Susan Young is a journalist who has spent the last 20 years editing the DRAM. Prior to that, she spent a decade working in Public Relations and Events dealing with clients as diverse as Cumbernauld Development Agency and James Burrough Distillers. Her knowledge of the Scottish licensed trade is extensive and she also instigated the first ever Scottish licensed trade awards which have evolved into the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards.

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