Castle has blended the old with the new

Danielle Rowley MP, left, and Emma Kinnear, right
Danielle Rowley MP, left, and Emma Kinnear, right

An historic Midlothian castle has presented its first Modern Apprenticeship award, with a view to encouraging more young people to pursue careers in the hospitality industry,

Danielle Rowley, MP for Midlothian, presented the first Borthwick Castle Modern Apprenticeship certificate to Emma Kinnear, following completion of a 12-month programme.

Emma, who joined Borthwick Castle as a weekend member of staff in August 2017 while still at school, has worked under the mentorship of housekeeping manager, Michelle Ramage, to develop her role and achieve her Modern Apprenticeship certificate.

Michelle, who has worked at Borthwick Castle since August 2016, founded the private-hire venue’s Modern Apprenticeship programme after seeing a need for a structured, qualification-based scheme to develop the skillset of the enthusiastic young people who had joined the team.

Modern Apprenticeships encourage young people to develop fully within their roles, hone their passion for the industry, and consider hospitality as a viable, long-term career choice, with the benefit of an industry-recognised qualification at the end of the programme.

A dedicated training programme was introduced, resulting in Emma gaining experience in all areas within Borthwick Castle; from working with the events department to assisting in the kitchen, joining the front-of-house team, shadowing history tours and greeting clients, to her current role as part of the food and beverage team.

Michelle said: “Some of our younger members of staff here at Borthwick Castle were unsure of their future plans when leaving school, and we wanted to ensure there was a scheme in place to motivate and encourage them to consider hospitality as a career choice.

“Currently we have three team members in training, with two more apprentices set to join us in November.

“We initially offered Emma a two-year contract for her Modern Apprenticeship, a step up from her casual employee role. However, due to her hard work and dedication, she completed the course within the year.”

Danielle Rowley MP said: “It was a pleasure to present Emma with her Modern Apprenticeship award at Borthwick Castle. It’s fantastic to see a local employer supporting their young members of staff to help them achieve their goals, setting an excellent example for all Midlothian employers.”