A group of students from the Scottish Highlands have graduated from Diageo’s award-winning Learning for Life training programme, in a combined celebration event held at The Den yesterday (10 July).

Thirty-nine participants from Inverness and the surrounding areas graduated from a suite of Diageo Learning for Life training courses which have taken place in Inverness in recent months, including the Bartending and Hospitality, Kickstart and Hospitality Elevator programmes.

The Diageo Learning for Life programme provides students with essential industry qualifications, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, opening the door to a wide range of exciting career opportunities. During the training programme students took part in educational industry visits, which were supported by local employers including Johnny Foxes/The Den, Scotch and Rye, Eagle Hotel (Dornoch), McCallums, Mercure Hotel, Glen Mhor Hotel, Achnagairn Estate and Penta Hotel. 

Diageo’s flagship Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality programme was launched in 2014 and has seen more than 1,300 unemployed people graduate, with 85% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 79% securing long-term employment. Launched earlier this year, Learning for Life: Kickstart offers a condensed three-week training programme while Learning for Life: Hospitality Elevator aims to improve the skills of those currently employed in bartending roles.

Nicola Reid, Programme Manager, Diageo Learning for Life, Great Britain and Europe, says: “Congratulations to our students who are graduating from Diageo Learning for Life today, wish them every success in the future.

“The hospitality sector in Scotland has a number of wonderful opportunities available for those with the right skills and work ethic. These students have all worked incredibly hard, and we are happy to celebrate their achievements today.”

Learning for Life courses are delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner. Commenting on the recent tranche of Inverness graduates, Inga McVicar, National head of Employability for The Springboard Charity, says: “It’s fantastic to see our students growing their knowledge, skills and confidence throughout their studies.

“We really appreciate the support we have received from local employers - their assistance is really crucial to the success of the course, particularly the time that they have spent encouraging and supporting our students.”

Recent Diageo Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality graduate Patrycja Hendzel from Inverness says “Diageo Learning for Life provides the perfect course for anyone who has any issues in finding employment and who needs to develop their skills in hospitality. 

“I met such great people who gave help and support at every step. The Inverness Bartending and Hospitality course gave me fantastic product knowledge, new skills and experience and really built up my confidence.

“I would recommend this course to anyone looking for help and guidance into a career in the hospitality industry. It's been the best thing for me and I'm looking forward to a fantastic future.“

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