HIT Scotland and STA launch Scotland’s largest online learning programme


The Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Programme,  a new online training programme delivered by the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) launches today. It’s aim is to support and develop talent within Scotland’s crisis hit tourism and hospitality industries and 80 groups of 25 people from 600 tourism businesses logged on at 9am today, making the programme the largest virtual training course ever to take place in Scotland.

The programme received 2000 applications for 950 places but rather than turn anybody away it was given a funding boost through the Scottish Government’s National Transition Training Fund to extend the number of places to enable every applicant to join the programme after receiving applications from thousands of employees currently on furloughed leave or experiencing redundancy

The transformational programme is one of the key recommendations of the Tourism Task Force which provided independent recommendations for Scottish Ministers and the UK Government on the essential actions to support tourism and hospitality recovery in Scotland, and will give the future leaders of Scotland’s tourism industry the skills, knowledge and networks to make an impact when the sector moves into recovery.

In its 27 years of providing industry training and development, HIT (Scotland) has awarded over 3000 inspirational scholarships; the next 10 weeks will see the organisation deliver a further 2000 through the Supervisor, Management and Leadership streams of the programme.

David Cochrane MBE, Chief Executive of HIT Scotland said,”The Talent Development Programme is the biggest mobilisation of online learning of this type, ever seen in Scotland. The fact that 2000 industry leaders, managers and supervisors across Scotland have stepped up to participate, demonstrates that there is a burning desire for continuous professional development.

“The collaboration to bring this inspirational programme to the industry has been immense and the transformational outcomes expected will give our people the skills and mental resilience to hit the ground running and positively support the recovery when it comes.”

 Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the STA added, “Scotland’s tourism industry has been gradually decimated by the impact of the pandemic and morale is at an all time low, however the volume of applications is testament to the passion for learning and development within our industry and the desire within Scotland’s tourism workforce to remain within the sector.

“Life has changed so much from everything we knew, our ‘new world’ will look entirely different, as will Scotland’s tourism product and the way that people choose to experience our vast and varied assets. There is one constant – our people; very few of them are doing what they should be doing and what they love to do right now but the demand for places on the programme from people within every sector of our tourism industry demonstrates that they are ready to embrace the opportunity to rebuild together.”