Midlothian graduates on new hospitality course

The Diageo Learning for Life Students at the G&V Hotel Edinburgh: Back row (left to right) - Tom Pollitt (from Edinburgh), Iain Laidlaw (from Dalkeith), Liam Hamill (from Edinburgh), Mike DePlacido (from Edinburgh), Graham Ross (from South Queensferry); Front row (left to right) - Mellissa Marne (from Penicuik), Lyndsey Macfadyen (from Edinburgh), Lisa Thomson (from Edinburgh), David Martin (from Edinburgh), Rosa Marnie (from Leith).

The Diageo Learning for Life Students at the G&V Hotel Edinburgh: Back row (left to right) - Tom Pollitt (from Edinburgh), Iain Laidlaw (from Dalkeith), Liam Hamill (from Edinburgh), Mike DePlacido (from Edinburgh), Graham Ross (from South Queensferry); Front row (left to right) - Mellissa Marne (from Penicuik), Lyndsey Macfadyen (from Edinburgh), Lisa Thomson (from Edinburgh), David Martin (from Edinburgh), Rosa Marnie (from Leith).

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A group of motivated unemployed people from the Lothians area have graduated from Diageo’s industry leading Learning for Life programme and are now equipped with the skills to embark on new careers in the hospitality industry.

Eleven students – including Iain Laidlaw from Dalkeith, and Mellissa Marne from Penicuik – celebrated graduating from the six-week training course with their families at the G&V Royal Mile Hotel in Edinburgh ahead of the festive period, which is traditionally one of the busiest times in the hospitality sector.

As part of their training the students undertook two weeks of work experience with some of the top restaurants, hotels and bars in the Lothians area including Apex Hotels, Red Squirrel, The Rutland Hotel, Hickory and Solid Liquids to gain vital on the job experience to further their knowledge of the industry.

The Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality and Bartending Course was delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner. The programme aims to give young unemployed people the chance to learn new skills to help improve their career prospects and open up new opportunities.

Since its launch in 2014, 775 young people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programmes across Scotland and have successfully secured permanent roles in the hospitality and bartending sectors with some securing management roles in the country’s leading hospitality venues.

Inga McVicar, National Programmes Manager for Diageo Learning for Life & Special Projects, said: “The Diageo Learning for Life Programme supports young people entering the hospitality industry, equipping them with sought after qualifications, strong practical skills and an increased confidence in their abilities and ambitions.

“The Lothians students have all passed their Scottish certificates for Personal Licence Holder enabling them to sell alcohol to the public and are fully trained in wine, beer, spirits, floor service and customer service ahead of a key period in the hospitality calendar.”

Danielle Ramsay, Group Recruitment Manager for Apex Hotels who is involved in the programme through offering the students work experience, added: “Apex Hotels have supported the Diageo Learning for Life courses since 2014. There is an extremely high standard of participants that are involved in the programme, and as result we have offered employment to many successful candidates. The course is a great way of sourcing talented individuals with a passion for the hospitality industry.”

Nicola Reid, Programme Manager, Learning for Life, congratulated all the Lothians graduates for their hard work and participation: “The hospitality industry offers excellent opportunities for young people with passion and drive which these graduates have in abundance and we are all looking forward to seeing where this next step takes them in their careers.”

The Diageo Learning for Life programme in the Lothians follows successful programmes throughout the UK, including most recently in Fife, Inverclyde, Paisley, Hamilton, Perth, Forth Valley, Edinburgh & the Lothians and Liverpool.